County marks 100th opioid overdose reversal with Narcan

Since April 2015, a county project has trained police to administer the life-saving drug
Nov 01, 2017

Police in Everett reversed their 100th opioid overdose countywide early last month, marking a significant milestone in the fight against the heroin epidemic.

As a result of these efforts, 100 sons or daughters, mothers or fathers are alive, providing the opportunity for engagement in treatment and recovery.

“The disease of addiction can only be cured one person at a time,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said. “Our first job is to save lives, and then we can get someone into treatment.

In 2014, a group of concerned professionals – law enforcement leaders, chemical dependency treatment managers, human services administrators, public health professionals and others – came together out of concern for the growing heroin and opioid epidemic in the county.

Out of this forum sprung several ideas, including the Opioid Overdose Prevention Project, a partnership between local law enforcement agencies and Snohomish County Human Services. Since the kick-off of this project in April 2015, all local law enforcement agencies in Snohomish County have received training in administering Naloxone, also known as Narcan.

“Narcan saves lives, allowing for intervention,” Somers said. “I am humbled to know our human services staff and law enforcement partners are keeping this disease from further devastating our communities. These paths of recovery are not easy, but far better than burying our family members and loved ones.”

Narcan is an opioid overdose reversal drug that can be administered through a nasal spray without risk of harming the person overdosing from heroin or other opiates, including OxyContin. Narcan also effectively reverses Fentanyl overdose as well.

To date, 900 officers and deputies have been trained and issued Narcan kits. Another nearly 700 Snohomish County community members – school nurses, housing providers, parents with opioid addicted children, social workers and others – have been trained to administer Narcan.

Narcan is available at many pharmacies without a prescription; the pharmacist will provide a brief training and will check with insurance companies for payment, since most insurance companies will cover the cost.

For a current list of the pharmacies currently participating in our state, go to StopOverdose.org. Community training sessions to administer Narcan are scheduled regularly. Please contact Amy Austin at 425-388-7209 if interested in receiving this training.

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