Attorney general Eric Holder wants all police officers and EMS officials to be equipped with a medicine that can offset the dangerous effects of heroin, and other opiates. This would be a new duty for the police officers in the county, but the Rockford Fire Department says their teams of EMS officials have used this drug to save lives for decades.
Heroin is not only a world wide issue but it has become an epidemic here in Winnebago County.
Bob Vertiz, of the Rockford Fire Department said “we are seeing more overdoses and they seem to be getting younger and younger in age”
Trisha Humphreys knows heroin has a tight grip around Winnebago County. Humphreys is a recovering heroin addict who will be clean for 23 months, in April.
“this year alone, I have lost 12 people to heroin use, and it is only March”
She says staying away from the readily available and low cost drug is a challenge in Rockford. “there are certain parts of Rockford that I can not go to because it is a trigger, actually last week in Rockford, I was at the stop light and my old dealer was right there.
Humphreys has overdosed on heroin in the past, and said this amazing drug is the only reason she is alive today. “Narcan saved my life” said Humphreys.
What is Narcan?
“Narcan, also known as Naloxone is a opium antagonist. It reverses the effects of opiates and narcotics such as heroin”
Vertiz says his EMS team uses the drug quite frequently “Narcan is administered about 600 times a year, which is about 50 times per month”
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