Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Sheriff’s Deputies To Carry Drug Overdose Nasal Spray

Some East County sheriff's deputies will carry a nasal spray used to counteract problems breathing and other issues with someone overdosing on heroin or another type of opiates as part of a pilot program starting Monday.

Deputies in Santee, La Mesa and unincorporated areas near El Cajon will be the first law enforcement officers in the state to test Naloxone, a generic form of a drug called Narcan, on patrols, according to the sheriff's department.

The sheriff's department estimates 300 people will die of drug overdoses in San Diego County in 2014.

"We've seen such a large increase in overdoses and drug use related to opiates in families all over the county," sheriff's Capt. James Bovet said.

An opiate overdose can leave the victim unconscious and unable to breathe. Sheriff's officials said that the person could die if left untreated.

Deputies will be trained to administer Naloxone when they are the first to respond to an overdose, which may keep the victim alive long enough for county Emergency Medical Services personnel to arrive and take the victim to a hospital, authorities said.

County Emergency Medical Services Director Bruce Haynes said Naloxone reverses the effects of opiates, which can save lives.

"We've had a really good relationship with the sheriff's on this, and it's exciting to bring this treatment forward with first responders, where it hasn't been before, and we anticipate it's going to be life-saving," Haynes said.

The six-month pilot program will help officials determine if the use of Naloxone by deputies is feasible and effective. UC San Diego researchers will assist, Bovet said.

The drug was purchased using money donated by Scripps Health. The program will be administered under the direction of county Emergency Medical Services, according to the sheriff's department.


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.