Camden police save two with heroin antidote

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)

Police officers carrying Narcan, an antidote used to reverse a heroin overdose, saved two men in Camden from certain death over the weekend.

The resuscitations mark the eighth and ninth times Camden County police officers have used the antidote to save overdose victims, a spokesman said.

Officers Christopher Devlin and Nicole Berry discovered an unconscious man shortly before noon Friday as they were patrolling the Lanning Square section, an area well known for heroin traffickers. After determining the man was in the throes of an overdose, another officer, Kevin Hiller, administered two doses of the antidote. The man regained consciousness and was taken to Cooper University Hospital for treatment, said Michael Daniels, a spokesman for the department.

Saturday night, another man was found unconscious about 7 p.m. at the Volunteers of America facility on the 200 block of Atlantic Avenue in South Camden. Officer Melvin responded and determined the man was suffering an overdose. Fuentes administered two doses of Narcan and successfully revived the man, who was then taken to Cooper for further treatment, Daniels said.

Heroin use has spiked recently as people addicted to prescription opioid painkillers such as Vicodin, Percocet, and Oxycodone have switched to the less-expensive illegal narcotic. 

Contact Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or Follow @samwoodiii on Twitter.

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