Chief Michael P Murphy
150 Park St.
North Reading, MA 01864
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
North Reading Police Announce First Successful Usage of Narcan
Overdose Patient Brought Back from the Brink of Death
NORTH READING — Police Chief Michael P. Murphy announces that the North Reading Police Department has successfully used Nasal Narcan for the first time to revive an opioid overdose patient.
On September 6, North Reading Police Officers Sean O’Leary and Jason Connolly were the first rescuers on scene for a report of an unconscious man lying on the ground. When officers arrived, the patient was barely breathing and unresponsive. Shortly after beginning first aid procedures, an assessment of the situation led police to believe he had overdosed. The officers administered two doses of Narcan, and seconds after the second dose was administered, the man regained consciousness. He was transported to an area hospital for further treatment.
“This is why we aggressively sought to bring Narcan into our department, to save lives,” Chief Murphy said. “Drug overdose is an unfortunate reality in all of our communities, and North Reading is not going to turn a blind eye toward the crisis.”
In June, Narcan (Naloxone) was deployed in all North Reading Police Cruisers after every sworn officer in the department completed an intensive training program with Lieutenant Mark Zimmerman and Detective Thomas Hatch.
Opioid overdose is now one of the leading causes of death in Massachusetts, leading Governor Deval Patrick to declare it a public health crisis in March.
Narcan, the brand name for Naloxone, is an “opioid antagonist,” which means it displaces opioid from receptors in the brain and can immediately reverse the effects of an overdose. Narcan has few side effects, and it will not harm a patient who has not overdosed. Nasal Narcan does not use needles/sharps, further increasing its safety. Narcan can be used to reverse heroin overdose, as well as overdoses of OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, and hydrocodone drugs like Vicodin.