DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba announced Monday that DuPage deputies are the first county sheriffs in Illinois to carry the heroin-overdose preventing drug Narcan (Naloxone) in their squad cars.
The Sheriff's Office is piloting the DuPage Narcan Program (DNP), which was initiated by the members of the DuPage County Chiefs’ of Police Association. Zaruba, along with the other executive board members, worked in concert with the DuPage County Health Department.
Deputies are equipped with the prescription drug Narcan, a heroin/opiate antagonist that blocks opiates from the opioid receptors in the brain and can reverse an overdose and save lives.
"It is common for deputies to arrive before the paramedics, so having trained deputies who are able to administer the Narcan to someone overdosing could potentially save a loved one," Zaruba said. "This past year DuPage County has seen 45 confirmed cases of heroin deaths. My office takes a multifaceted approach to deal with epidemic through interdiction, education and enforcement. We are fighting every day to get this drug out of our community, but this new program will help us with those who are still battling the addiction."
Heroin abuse spans across all socioeconomic backgrounds, effects young or old alike, of both genders and any ethnicity. It is common for those who abuse painkillers to start using heroin.
"It is my hope that the results of this pilot program will expand the use of this life-saving procedure to all law enforcement agencies, in every county, throughout the state of Illinois," Zaruba said.
Residents can to go to www.dupagesheriff.org to learn more and view the video, Heroin in DuPage County: An Equal Opportunity Epidemic.
"If you are or suspect someone you know is abusing drugs, there are services available through the sheriff’s office and the DuPage County Health Department," Zaruba said.
If a parent should find a suspicious substance in their child’s room, the First Step Program is available through the Sheriff’s Office to assist them with finding out if it is an illegal substance and taking positive action before criminal intervention becomes necessary.
For additional information on this free and anonymous testing, go to www.dupagesheriff.org and click on the link for programs and services.
Source: DuPage County Sheriff's Office release