Hennepin County trains deputies to use heroin antidote Narcan - KMSP-TV

Hennepin County trains deputies to use heroin antidote Narcan

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The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office is starting to train deputies to use Narcan, an antidote that can temporarily reverse the lethal effects of a heroin overdose.

Earlier this year, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill into law that allows police and paramedics to carry and administer the prescription drug naloxone, sold under the Narcan brand name. Steve’s Law was named in honor of Steve Rummler, who died of a heroin overdose on July 1, 2011. It takes effect Aug. 1.

At Thursday's training session, Bill Rummler came to tell an audience of deputies that Narcan could have saved his son's life.

Hennepin County Medical paramedic Tony Brant demonstrates
how to use Narcan

"These deputies will be the first law enforcement officers in the state to administer Narcan," Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said. "Just like a defibrillator or a tourniquet, Narcan can help save lives when every second counts."

Though Narcan can counteract opiate overdoses, many victims don’t get it in time. Sometimes, a friend of the the victim is aware of the grave danger but is too afraid to call police. That's why Steve's Law also grants anyone who seeks medical assistance for an overdose victim and for anyone needing help for an overdose immunity from prosecution.

So far this year, there have been 22 heroin-related deaths in Hennepin County alone. Last year, the county set a record for heroin deaths at 56. This week, however, 24 deputies will be trained in how to manage, store and use Narcan. After the training sessions are complete, it's estimated that 75 deputies will have the skills to administer the drug.

Narcan kits will soon be kept in patrol cars and at the Sheriff's Office Enforcement Services headquarters in Brooklyn Park. Hennepin EMS professionals and HCMC are providing physician oversight, education and support throughout the implementation process.

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