Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cop saves N.J. woman's life with anti-overdose drug

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)
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)

A Seaside Heights police officer saved a woman’s life Tuesday morning by treating her with a drug that helps reverse heroin overdoses, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office announced.

Officials said the patrolman responded around 3 a.m. to the Desert Palm Inn, where he found a woman in her mid-twenties suffering from an overdose.

The officer administered Narcan nasal spray and the woman immediately become responsive, authorities said. Medics rushed her to Community Medical Center in Toms River, where she was recovering Tuesday.

“Once again, a victim of heroin has been given a chance to choose a path away from addiction, and loved ones have been spared the grief of a loved one’s death,” Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato said in a statement.

The incident marked the second time in less than a month that a Seaside Heights officer saved a life using Narcan, according to the prosecutor’s office. Officials said a man in his twenties was revived by the naloxone nasal spray on April 6.

Patrol officers across all of Ocean County’s 32 municipal police departments are being equipped with Narcan as part of a pilot program backed by Gov. Chris Christie and announced earlier this month.

Officials hope that providing first responders with the drug and training them in how to administer it can help stem the rising tide of overdose deaths some have described as an epidemic in parts of the state.

Coronato noted Ocean County has seen 25 overdose deaths so far this year, compared to 40 during the same period last year.

Though it’s still early in the program, he said he's optimistic the initial wins mark “the start of a significant number of lives that will be saved by officers armed with this valuable tool.”

“We’re not ready to claim success, but the downward trend is something we pray can be sustained into the future,” Coronato said.

Coronato will visit the Seaside Heights Police Department Wednesday morning to commend both officers for their actions.


Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or awigglesworth@philly.com. Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

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

Alex Wigglesworth Philly.com
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected