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Officials equipping police to treat overdoses

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 11:15 p.m. CDT

GENEVA – Kane County health officials expect that by next month law-enforcement officers throughout Kane County will begin to carry a medication that can help save people from heroin overdoses.

A Kane County Health Department program is training police officers to administer Narcan, a trade name for Naloxone. It is a medication used to reverse opioid overdoses.

Barb Jeffers, health department executive director, told a County Board committee Tuesday that the program conducted a training session in late July.

About 30 people from several police departments throughout the county, including Sugar Grove and North Aurora, participated, Jeffers said.

Because those trained are expected to train their workforce within four weeks, Jeffers said she expects police to start carrying doses of Narcan in September.

Each officer is allowed to carry two doses of the nasal spray at a time, she said.

The Narcan use will be tracked, Jeffers said. Before receiving replacement doses, she said, officers must submit paperwork to the health department, who then will send it to the state.

The health department is providing the medication, Jeffers said, noting two doses cost $35. The medication has a shelf life of two years, she said.

Jeffers said she has fielded calls from other counties – including LaSalle, Grundy and DeKalb – about the program.

“It is, I think, catching on, at least in our region,” she said.

Although emergency medical technicians already administer Narcan, Jeffers said the new program targets police because they typically arrive on the scene quicker. Medics, however, still will be called, she said.

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