Officials said 400 accidental heroin overdoses happened in Connecticut last year.
With that number in mind, first responders across the state are being trained on how to save those lives.
Narcan kits are already proving to be vital for first responders.
“It’s hard to say if I ever thought I was going to have to use it,” said CT State Trooper Catherine Fawley.
Last fall, Fawley did have to put her Narcan training to use to save a man’s life.
“I was actually driving home from work and I came across an accident on I-84 in Middlebury,” where Fawley said the driver seemed okay at first, but after a few moments, he collapsed.
“Very, very labored breathing, gasping, that’s when we administered Narcan,” Fawley said.
Since troopers began their Narcan training program in 2014, they have saved nearly 100 lives using Narcan. They’ve used it 81 times, and 71 people were revived, seven died, and three had no response, meaning either it wasn’t an opiate or too much of it and the drug didn’t work.
Many other first responders in Connecticut carry Narcan, but not all. Troopers stress that it is valuable for not just heroin overdoses.
“It’s not just someone who may overdose on heroin, it may be a child who gets into their parent’s cough medicine,” said Rob Lanouette, who is an instructor.
After giving an adult patient oxygen, the trooper will then take the drug and put half of it in one nostril the other in the other nostril and then, as long as they have a pulse, within 3 to 5 minutes it should revive them.
This is training that Fawley said she is thankful she had when she came upon that crash last fall.
“If we hadn't had the Narcan training I couldn’t even have told you what would have happened to him,” Fawley said.
Congressman Joe Courtney recently introduced a bill for $600 million in emergency funding for the federal Department of Health and Department of Justice to fund treatment programs and law enforcement’s battle against the drug trade.
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