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Narcan program saves first lives from heroin overdose in DuPage

Published: Friday, March 28, 2014 9:50 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 12:52 p.m. CDT
Police officials, including Hanover Park Sgt. Kathleen McClaughry, learn to properly give a person experiencing a heroin overdose a nasal spray of Narcan during a training session Feb. 21 at the DuPage County Health Department.

Two lives were saved from heroin overdose within the last week thanks to the DuPage Narcan Program, according to the DuPage County Health Department.

A sheriff's deputy used Narcan, a nonaddictive drug which can reverse a potentially fatal overdose, on Saturday to assist a 32-year-old woman in unincorporated DuPage County near Villa Park, marking the first life saved through the program, the health department said. The deputy was responding to a call of a sick person about 1:20 a.m.

"This is the first case of DNP-issued Narcan saving a life and we expect that trend to continue. More lives will be saved and that is the ultimate goal of this county partnership," Karen Ayala, executive director of the health department, said in a news release.

Just four days later on Wednesday, the program notched its second save. Hanover Park police responded to a call of a sick person about 9 p.m. and reversed the overdose of a 29-year-old man.

"The fact that our department just completed the DNP training a week ago and already put this life-saving training to use to save a life is amazing," Hanover Park Police Chief David Webb said in a release.

The DNP program is a response to the rising number of DuPage County heroin-related deaths in recent years, including 46 in 2013.

Training began in November to teach DuPage County law enforcement personnel how to identify symptoms of an overdose and how to administer Narcan. More than 1,200 officers in DuPage County are expected to be equipped with Narcan by May.

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