CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – They were disturbing pictures showing the horror of the heroin and opioid crisis in America — parents passed out in cars with young children.
The photos were from Ohio but the same problem exists in Colorado. Just last week deputies in Arapahoe County had to save a couple from an opiate overdose. The deputies just received an antidote a week earlier.
Deputies say surprisingly overdoses happen in the public eye instead of the privacy of a home most of the time. That was the case at approximately 8 p.m. last Friday night. Witnesses saw the car swerving in and out of traffic on Arapahoe Road. It came to a stop, but that only happened because both the passenger and the driver passed out while the car was in motion.
Sheriff’s deputies were able to use their Narcan kits and say it likely saved the lives of the two suspects Friday night.
Narcan is a Food and Drug Administration-approved nasal spray that reverses the effects of opioid overdose. It’s safe to use even if it’s not sure someone has overdosed.
The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office says they have seen a rise in heroin and opioid use and they put Narcan kits in 50 of their deputies’ cars. They say it’s important that all the cars have them because often times deputies will get to the scene before the paramedics, and the nasal spray can mean the difference between life and death.
“The important thing about using the Narcan kits is that to respond to an overdose you need to do it quickly,” Julie Brooks with the sheriff’s office said. “In that time it takes for us to respond and get rescue there and then transport to a hospital, it may be too late.”
Even with the growing drug abuse problem the sheriff’s office says it’s really surprised a kit was used within a week of buying them.
The detention facility in Arapahoe County also has Narcan kits. People who are released from the facility and at risk of relapsing can get a kit to go.
King Soopers also now has Narcan kits that cost $75.
The sheriff’s office has more funding in place to expand the program.