Heartland officials react to controversy over use of Narcan to help overdose victims

(KFVS) - Narcan is a drug to help overdose victims, but at least one sheriff's department will not use it.

Sheriff Richard Jones in Ohio said if any one of his deputies come in contact with an overdose victim who needs it, they'll have to get it somewhere else.

"We will not use Narcan. I believe it's dangerous for my officers to use Narcan. And you may ask why. When you get there and you're there and you have to get down on your knees and issue this Narcan, you're usually at a place that's not real happy that you're there. They're usually trying to hid their drugs before you get there. A person that's unconscious, they have needles, they have people that are there, don't want you there. We don't use it, and I'm not going to use it," Sheriff Jones said.

We talked to emergency personnel around the Heartland to see how they are using Narcan.

The controversy is whether it should be used to save someone who voluntarily used an opioid.

In Kentucky, McCracken County Sheriff's Department had 25 kits donated from the Kentucky Harm Prevention Coalition.

They have used two doses of Narcan this year.

In Illinois, the Carbondale Police Department spent a little more than $10,000 on 20 boxes of Narcan.

They too have given two doses so far in 2017.

The Cape Girardeau Fire Department spent about $400 on Narcan and have administered nine doses so far this year.

All of the officials said it's fortunate they haven't had to use many doses, but they are glad they have it.

"Our job is to assist anybody that needs assistance, and you can make that argument for a lot of people. We have people that suffer cardiac events multiple times that we've seen them and they continue to have cardiac problems and we will continue to treat them every time and we will do the same for the opioid overdoses," said Chief Ennis with Cape Girardeau Fire Department.

A dose of Narcan cost emergency personnel around $40 per dose and has a shelf life of one year.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2017 KFVS. All rights reserved.