In 2016, overdose deaths soared to more than 64,000 — with fentanyl and its analogs accounting for more than 20,000 fatal overdoses, according to the agency's data. President Trump is declared a national emergency hoping to fight the opioid crisis that has struck families and communities from rural areas to cities.
Whether they've overdosed on heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, or prescription drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, patients have been able to recover after receiving naloxone. Warrenton had an overdose the County Medical Examiner attributed to “Pink” in April of this year.
The Warrenton Police Department is now carrying Naloxone (Narcan) overdose kits in each vehicle and becomes the first department in Clatsop County to equip patrol officers with the life-saving drug.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse calls naloxone "an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications."
In a news release, Warrenton Police Chief Mathew Workman thank Columbia Memorial Hospital and Pharmacy Director Christopher Laman for donating the first ten doses of Naloxone to the WPD. Workman also thank Lines for Life and Rebecca Wood (OrCRM Project Coordinator) for awarding a grant and supporting the WPD in getting the program off the ground. The program is also helped by North Coast Prevention Works substance abuse prevention coalition.
October 6, 2017, the Oregon Health Authority changed its guidelines to allow law enforcement officers to just view the video training and removed the requirement for clinical oversite of a Naloxone Program.
The WPD has chosen to still have initial oversite with an agreement with Dr. Thomas Duncan the Clatsop County Medical Officer. The primary medical oversite, as well as permission to obtain the Naloxone, is through a signed agreement with Dr. Regina Mysliwiec MD. Dr. Mysliwiec, who will oversee the training and review any records, also attended the initial training of the officers.