Corvallis Police Equip For Opioid Overdoses

The Corvallis Police Department will now carry Narcan in their patrol cars’ first aid kits to administer to those suffering from an opioid overdose. Narcan — known generically as Naloxone — is administered as a nasal spray at signs of slowed or stopped breathing. There are no side effects should it be given to someone who has not overdosed.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, there were 6.5 deaths (excluding suicides) per 100,000 residents for 2015, which is the most recent data available. The Center for Disease Control put the overall number at 286. The opioid related death rate in Oregon has more than tripled since the beginning of the century, though it has decreased slightly since its peak in 2011. The CDC attributed 150 of those deaths in 2015 to prescription opioids.  

The OHA keeps separate statistics on deaths determined to be suicides. In 2015, that stood at 1.1 per 100,000 residents, roughly 44 individuals. The use of prescription opioids accounted for about 93 percent of those suicides. This correlation between suicide and prescription opioids has remained virtually unchanged since 2000.

Lieutenant Dan Duncan said that the CPD began carrying Narcan at the beginning of July, but have yet to use it.  There have, however, been instances in the past where the police had to wait for the medics to administer it.  Lt. Duncan said he was unsure of how many times it would be necessary in the future.  As CPD is often first on the scene, having Narcan on hand could make the difference between life and death.

According to OHA, Naloxone is available to anyone, either by prescription or without a prescription through a pharmacist.According to OHA, Naloxone is available to anyone, either by prescription or without a prescription through a pharmacist. 

by Andy Hahn

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