Camden cops save heroin OD victims with Narcan

A kit with naloxone, also known by its brand name Narcan, is displayed at the South Jersey AIDS Alliance in Atlantic City, N.J. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. An overdose of opiates essentially makes the body forget to breathe. Naloxone works by blocking the brain receptors that opiates latch onto and helping the body "remember" to take in air. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Camden County police officers have saved five heroin overdose victims -- including four over the past week -- since the force began carrying kits with an anti-overdose drug in May.

The Camden County Police Department said today that the most recent save occurred overnight, when Officer Michael Denight saw an unresponsive man in a parking lot while he was on patrol near 32nd Street and Westfield Avenue.

Denight administered the drug Narcan to the man, who was then taken to Cooper University Hospital for further treatment, police said.

Narcan is the brand name for naloxone nasal spray, which is used help people who have overdosed on heroin.

Authorities began equipping police departments in New Jersey with Narcan kits this spring, beginning with a pilot program in Ocean in Monmouth counties.

Parts of the state have reported surges in heroin overdoses, and officials are hopeful the kits can prevent deaths from the drug.

The first save with Narcan by Camden County officers occurred May 23.

Since last Wednesday, four other saves have been reported. In addition to this morning's, those incidents occurred:
-At Branch Village on Tuesday
-At North 33rd and Pierce streets on Friday
-At 2nd and Clinton streets on June 4

Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443 or Follow @phillynews on Twitter.