Deputies saving lives with heroin antidote

Frederick County sheriff’s deputies have saved the lives of two overdose victims in the last two weeks, the first successful uses of the drug Naloxone by area law enforcement officers trained to administer it in life and death emergencies.

Sheriff Lenny Millholland said the outcomes showed the value of the Naloxone, a drug used to revive those who have overdosed on heroin and other opioid drugs. Naloxone, also known by its brand name of Narcan, has previously been available only to members of ambulance crews trained in its use.

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office is the first area law enforcement agency to train its members in administering Naloxone.

“I said at the beginning if it saved one life, it was worth it, and now we’ve saved two. It’s fantastic,” Millholland said.

Millholland said both victims were men, one in his 20s and the other in his 30s. Both were later taken to Winchester Medical Center for further treatment.

The first emergency was March 24 at a motel on Valley Pike in Kernstown.

“It was an unconscious male, and two deputies were there, and they were able to administer Naloxone, and with the help of fire and rescue, they were able to bring him back,” Millholland said.

The other overdose was at 4:15 a.m. Tuesday at the Redwood Budget Motel in Stephens City.

Millholland said most of his department’s 129 deputies have undergone training with Naloxone since February. None have reported any problems with administering the drug, which uses a device called an auto-injector that is placed against the patient’s inner thigh.

“It’s one of those things where you don’t come in contact with needles or anything like that,” Millholland said. “Everything is enclosed. It’s a safe situation.”

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com