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Naloxone

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SANTEE, Calif. — Some East County sheriff’s deputies will carry a nasal spray used to counteract breathing and other problems in someone overdosing on heroin or another type of opiates as part of a pilot program starting Monday.

Naloxone

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Deputies in Santee, La Mesa and unincorporated areas near El Cajon will be the first law enforcement officers in the state to test Naloxone, a generic form of a drug called Narcan, on patrols, according to the sheriff’s department.

An opiate overdose can leave the victim unconscious and unable to breathe. Sheriff’s officials said that the person could die if left untreated.

Deputies will be trained to administer Naloxone when they are the first to respond to an overdose, which may keep the victim alive long enough for county Emergency Medical Services personnel to arrive and take the victim to a hospital, authorities said.

“Our goal is to save lives,” Sheriff Bill Gore said. “Overdoses from opiate-based prescription and illicit drugs, like Oxycodone and Heroin, have taken the lives of children and adults alike in San Diego County.”

The six-month pilot program is expected to help officials determine if the use of Naloxone by deputies is feasible and effective. Sheriff’s officials said deputies were being given Naloxone, which does not produce a “high,” because they are often the first to arrive at the scene where a person is suffering from an overdose.

The drug was purchased using money donated by Scripps Health. The program will be administered under the direction of county Emergency Medical Services, according to the sheriff’s department.

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