Saline County first re­spon­ders re­ceive over­dose kits

The Saline Courier - - OPINION - By Sarah Perry [email protected]­ton­courier.com

With the help of grant fund­ing, the Ben­ton Po­lice De­part­ment and the Saline County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, as well as the Bryant Fire De­part­ment, re­cently re­ceived Nalox­one kits to help a per­son dur­ing an opi­oid over­dose.

The kits in­cludes two doses of Nar­can, a bio­haz­ard face mask and other first aid items, ac­cord­ing to Lt. Joe Tray­lor, spokesper­son for the Saline County Sher­iff’s Of­fice.

Nalox­one is used in opi­oid over­doses to coun­ter­act life-threat­en­ing de­pres­sion of the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem and res­pi­ra­tory sys­tem, al­low­ing an over­dose vic­tim to breathe nor­mally, ac­cord­ing to the Harm Re­duc­tion Coali­tion.

Through a grant from the Univer­sity of Arkansas Sys­tem Crim­i­nal Jus­tice In­sti­tute and the U.S. De­part­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vice, Ben­ton of­fi­cers, SCSO deputies and jail staff, along with Bryant fire­fight­ers will re­ceive kits.

“We can­not over­state the im­por­tance of this Nar­can part­ner­ship in Saline County. Hav­ing the over­dose kits in the hands of first re­spon­der saves valu­able min­utes in a cri­sis and has the po­ten­tial to save count­less lives,” said Saline County Sher­iff Rod­ney Wright. “We have al­ready seen about a half dozen lives saved by our of­fice alone in the past year. Thanks to the grant we have been given, we can con­tinue to have that mean­ing­ful im­pact on our com­mu­nity.”

Af­ter re­cently com­plet­ing train­ing on how to use Nax­olone, Bryant fire­fight­ers be­gan re­ceiv­ing kits this week. Wed­nes­day, within two hours the fire­fight­ers used the med­i­ca­tion dur­ing two in­ci­dents.

“We’re see­ing more and more prob­lems with opi­oids,” said Bryant Fire Chief J.P. Jor­dan. “We were able to make a dif­fer­ence hav­ing the right med­i­ca­tion.”

Be­ing the first time the Bryant fire­fight­ers have re­ceived kits, Jor­dan said the fire­fight­ers were sur­prised by how easy, ef­fec­tive and how quickly the med­i­ca­tion worked.

Each year in Saline County, there are 92.7 opi­oid pre­scrip­tions is­sued per 100 res­i­dents and 110,612 opi­oid pre­scrip­tions are writ­ten dur­ing a 12-month pe­riod.

Saline County also ranks as a top-risk county in the state for youth, drug over­dose and drug poi­son­ing.

Spe­cial to The Saline Courier

The Ben­ton Po­lice De­part­ment re­cently re­ceived 62 Nalox­one kits to help a per­son dur­ing an opi­oid over­dose. From left, pic­tured with the kits are As­sis­tant Chief Jeff Be­san­con, Capt. Pa­trick Baker, State Drug Di­rec­tor and for­mer Ben­ton Chief of Po­lice Kirk Lane, Chief Scotty Hodges, Lt. Lisa Stu­art and Sgt. Doug Speer.

Spe­cial to The Saline Courier

State Drug Di­rec­tor and for­mer Ben­ton Chief of Po­lice Kirk Lane and Saline County Sher­iff Rod­ney Wright dis­play the kits the SCSO re­ceived.

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