ICYMI: Carrboro resident saved by overdose drug

Carrboro, N.C.

By Maggie Monsrud
The Daily Tar Heel
January 15, 2015
http://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2015/01/carrboro-resident-saved-by-overdose-drug

The Carrboro Police Department saved the life of a resident Monday night (Jan. 12) - the first time naloxone was used by any police department in North Carolina.

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.

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The below information is provided by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and did not appear in the original article:

In 2013, Governor McCrory signed Senate Bill 20, a Good Samaritan/Naloxone Access law. The law allows:

  • Community-based organizations to dispense Naloxone (Narcan) under the guidance of a medical provider. Medical practitioners who prescribe and bystanders who administer Narcan are protected from civil liability.
    • The purpose of the law is to increase access to Naloxone among those at risk for overdose.
  • Individuals who experience a drug overdose or witness an overdose and seek help for the victim cannot be prosecuted for the possession of small amounts of drugs or paraphernalia.
    • The purpose of the law is to remove the fear of criminal repercussions for calling 911 to report an overdose and to instead focus efforts on getting help to the victim.

In 2014, some law enforcement agencies in North Carolina began carrying naloxone.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths from medication/drug overdose have been rising steadily over the past two decades and have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States.

The number of unintentional medication/drug overdose deaths has increased by 326% in the state of North Carolina since 1999. In 2013, there were a total of 992 unintentional medication/drug overdose deaths in North Carolina.

Deaths from unintentional medication/drug overdose only represent the tip of the iceberg. Each year, many more individuals are hospitalized or visit the Emergency Department (ED) because of an unintentional medication/drug overdose. In North Carolina, based on 2011 statistics, for every unintentional medication/drug overdose death, there were more than four hospitalizations and eight ED visits related to unintentional medication/drug overdoses.

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Contact: news@dhhs.nc.gov
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