NEWBERRY — Sheriff Lee Foster said that deputies in Newberry County have a new tool to help potentially save lives called Narcan.
Narcan is an anti-overdose drug that has been distributed to all deputies, who are often the first to arrive on scene to an overdose.
“We will continue to investigate, arrest and prosecute people who sell or possess heroin and all other illegal drugs,” said Foster. “However, for the person who has overdosed, this can be a second chance at life. This second chance will hopefully be a wake up call to the person and priceless to their family.”
Narcan was obtained through the Law Enforcement Officers Narcan (LEON) program on a grant from the State of South Carolina through the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services.
All deputies received training on the effects opiods have on the body and proper administration of Narcan before receiving their assigned doses.
Foster added that while Newberry County is seeing an increase of heroin and opioid based drugs, the increase is far below the numbers across the state. He said that this was an effort to be prepared and ahead of the curve. Statewide, the number of opioid overdoses nearly tripled in less than a year.
This was also an officer safety issue with the introduction of Fentanyl to society.
Foster said that nationwide several officers have accidently ingested fentanyl through their skin or by inhaling it and in several cases have proved deadly. This will provide the officers with the ability to treat an accidental exposure to the high powered drug.
“We believe that this is a way to be more effective in law enforcement,” Foster said. “Law enforcement must adapt to the trends faced in society if we are to truly be effective and this is just another step forward for us to better serve the people of Newberry County.”