Matthew J. King, Chief of Police
500 Great Road,
Littleton, MA 01460
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Littleton Police and Fire Save 9th Overdose Patient with Nasal Narcan Since Start of Program
Heroin and Opiate Epidemic Continues to Plague Every Community, As First Responders Work to Keep Up
LITTLETON — Police Chief Matthew J. King and Fire Chief Scott Wodzinski report that, for the nineth time since deploying it in the springtime, Littleton Police Officers and Firefighters were able to help reverse the effects of a potentially fatal drug overdose in a patient on Friday afternoon, using Narcan
Around 3:30 p.m. Friday, Littleton Police and Fire responded to an address on Whitcomb Avenue for a report of an unresponsive male. Officers found multiple syringes around the man and a white powdery substance, believed to be heroin.
Police officers immediately began emergency medical procedures and administered oxygen and artificial respiration. Firefighters, including Chief Wodzinski, arrived a short time later. The chief administered Nasal Naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan, to the patient, and the patient began to come around.
The patient was transported by the Littleton Fire Department to a nearby hospital and is expected to survive.
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.
“As public safety professionals, we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the sad reality that drugs and heroin present in every community,” Chief Wodzinski said. “Narcan allows us to respond to a potentially fatal incident with immediate results.”
Narcan is an “opioid antagonist,” which means it displaces opioid drugs from receptors in the brain and can immediately reverse the effects of an overdose. Narcan is administered nasally, 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.
“Heroin is cheap and readily available, and while we will continue to enforce the drug laws and go after drug pushers, we also must continue to educate the public about heroin’s deadly grip and its effects on a community,” Chief King said. “Not only is it killing members of our community, but it also contributes directly to property crimes and lowers the quality of life in Littleton. We will not arrest our way out of this problem. We will continue to educate and assist addicts with withdrawal and other steps must be taken to stop this epidemic from continuing.”
Littleton has long participated in the Ayer District Court “Drug Court” and Chief King believes that programs like this are a step in the right direction.