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Carrboro resident saved by overdose drug

Naloxone is a medicine that stops opiate overdoses.

“We are also the only other police department in the southeast, other than Georgia, to have used the naloxone kit,” said Capt. Chris Atack, spokesman for the Carrboro Police Department.

At 8:14 p.m. Monday, officers were dispatched to an apartment complex on Old Fayetteville Road in response to a call about an overdose.

Carrboro police were the first to arrive on the scene and administered the drug naloxone to stop a suspected heroin overdose.

Naloxone works by reversing overdose and preventing all subsequent effects.

Atack said the victim was able to come out of the overdose and was doing well as of Tuesday morning.

Atack said this was the first time the Carrboro Police Department used one of its naloxone kits.

All Carrboro patrol officers are trained to use the naloxone kits, including community officers and school resource officers, Atack said. He said the kits are not often used because emergency medical service responders usually are first to arrive on the scene.

Additionally, the Orange County Health Department is allowed to provide naloxone to Orange County citizens through a prescription.

Stacy Shelp, spokeswoman for the Orange County Health Department, said the department was the first in North Carolina to issue prescriptions like naloxone.

Shelp said naloxone is for people who are at risk for drug abuse and family or friends who are concerned about someone who is at risk for drug abuse.

In 2014, there were 86 emergency department visits for unintentional medication or drug overdoses in Orange County, she said.

“So many people are concerned about using it, but the good thing about naloxone is that it won’t have any harmful effects,” Shelp said.

She said after the use of naloxone, overdose victims should seek emergency help.

Joshua Mecimore, spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police Department, said in an email that CHPD officers are also trained to use naloxone.

“We are finalizing our policy and procedures and preparing to deploy it in the near future,” he said.

Atack said the events from Monday night indicated that naloxone is an important program, and the police department would like to improve the training process for the assembly of naloxone kits.

“There are always things you can learn,” he said. “The use of naloxone kits is a skill we train once a year but only use every five years.”

Atack said the Carrboro Police Department is working on making an instructional video on how to use the naloxone kits to reinforce the officers’ training.

“When you’re dealing with opioid overdose or something that is potentially lethal, there is a need to get it right,” he said.

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