Officers in Boone County carrying new tool

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Boone County, Ind. (July 23, 2015) – Three more police departments in Central Indiana now carry Narcan in their vehicles.

The nasal spray reverses the effects of an opiate overdose.

Witham Health approached law enforcement in Boone County about the heroin overdose problem in the area.

That’s when the leaders of the Lebanon Police Department, Zionsville Police Department and Boone County Sheriff’s Office got together and secured the help of Witham Health. They also got a grant from Overdose Lifeline.

“It is a horrible, horrible thing we’re seeing,” said Major Brian Stevenson, Boone County Sheriff’s Office. “And what’s happening is some young people and even older people are making these bad decisions and overdosing on these drugs and our officers would get to the scene and they would only have a certain amount of things that they could do to try to save these people’s lives.”

Zionsville Police Chief Robert Knox said, “With the opiate overdoses and the plague that we’re seeing throughout all of our communities, our job is to protect people’s lives even if it’s from themselves.”

Doctors and the Emergency Room staff at Witham Health trained all the officers the last few weeks and Narcan was delivered to the departments this week.

“We’re no different than any place else and we do have our problems and people that make bad decisions and abuse drugs,” said Chief Knox. “Certainly we have seen overdoses and hopefully it’s one of those things you don’t have to use, but you want to be ready to go if somebody needs it.”

Major Stevenson added, “We have seen a spike within the last few years of heroin overdoses. We are seeing it is so easy to get, it is so cheap, that people are using this.”

The officers say they’re happy to have it in their vehicles because they are usually first on the scene at an overdose and Narcan gives the person a fighting chance until medics arrive. While the medication works almost immediately, it will only last for 30-90 minutes.

“The bottom line is our job is to go out and help people and try to save lives no matter what the problem is,” said Major Stevenson.

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