Hempstead County Deputies & Jail Personnel to be Issued Naloxone
Beginning in January 2018, Hempstead County Deputies and Jail personnel will be issued medication to help combat opioid overdoses.
Deputies and jailers will be trained in the use of Naloxone, deputies will carry two doses of the medication with them in case they encounter someone who has overdosed on opioid’s or it can be used by the deputies if they are somehow exposed to the drug by accident. It will also be issued to supervisory personnel at the Hempstead County Detention Center.
Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.
During an opioid overdose, Narcan can be used by deputies to reverse the effects of the drugs.
With the high addiction rate in Arkansas, it’s important that those who get on scene first have this life-saving medicine.
“It may be 30 minutes or longer before they can get to a hospital so our deputies and jail personnel need to have the tools there to reverse the effects of the opioids and to keep people alive long enough that we can get them to a hospital to get them other treatment and hopefully save their life, said Sheriff James Singleton
Combating the epidemic of opioid abuse—including prescription painkillers and, increasingly, heroin—requires a multi-pronged approach that involves reducing drug diversion, expanding delivery of existing treatments (including medication-assisted treatments), and development of new medications for pain that can augment our existing treatment arsenal. But another crucial component we must not forget is that people who abuse or are addicted to opioids need to be kept alive long enough that they can be treated successfully. In this, the drug naloxone has a large potential role to play.
Over the last year we have responded to at least 20 calls’ involving intentional or accidental overdoses. The biggest majority of the time deputies were first on scene and all they could do is wait. We are pleased that we are going to be able to have this life saving medication for our deputies and jail personnel to use in case they encounter someone who may have overdosed.