DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba announced the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office is the first county sheriff’s Office in the state of Illinois, to carry the drug Narcan (Naloxone) in squad cars.
The Sheriff’s Office is one of the County’s Law Enforcement Agencies piloting the DuPage Narcan Program, which was initiated by the members of the DuPage County Chiefs’ of Police Association. Zaruba, along with the other Executive Board members worked in concert with the DuPage County Health Department. Deputies are equipped with the prescription drug Narcan, a heroin/opiate antagonist which blocks opiates from the opioid receptors in the brain which can reverse an overdose, saving the lives of those who would perish without it.
“It is common for deputies to arrive before the paramedics, so having trained deputies who are able to administer the Narcan to someone overdosing, could potentially save a loved one” Zaruba stated.
He noted there were 45 confirmed cases of heroin deaths last year in DuPage County.
“My office takes a multifaceted approach to deal with epidemic through interdiction, education and enforcement,” he said. “We are fighting every day to get this drug out of our community, but this new program will help us with those who are still battling the addiction.”
Zaruba said heroin abuse spans across all socioeconomic backgrounds, effects young or old alike, gender and ethnicity, and it is common for those who abuse painkillers to start using heroin.
“It is my hope that the results of this pilot program will expand the use of this life saving procedure to all law enforcement agencies, in every county, throughout the state of Illinois” he said.
Residents can visit www.dupagesheriff.org to educate themselves and watch the video “Heroin in DuPage County: An Equal Opportunity Epidemic. Services are available through the Sheriff’s Office and the DuPage County Health Department.
If a parent should find a suspicious substance in there child’s room, the First Step Program is available through the Sheriff’s Office to assist them with finding out if the substance is an illegal substance and taking a positive parental action before criminal intervention becomes necessary. For more information on this free and anonymous testing, go to www.dupagesheriff.org and click on the link for programs and services.