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Press Release

Berkeley County Sheriff’s deputies to carry naloxone

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – The Berkeley County, West Virginia Sheriff’s Department is embracing a new resource that will enhance efforts to reduce the number of drug overdose deaths in the region, United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced.
Deputies in Berkeley County will soon be trained and equipped to utilize naloxone, a medication that reverses overdoses resulting from heroin, prescription painkillers, and other opioids. As part of the program, all deputies will be trained how to quickly identify the symptoms of an opioid overdose, how to administer naloxone, and how to protect fellow officers that might be exposed to opioid drugs in the field.

“The use of naloxone by Berkeley County deputies will save lives and allow for critical prevention, education, and treatment resources to be provided to individuals who are battling addiction,” noted U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld.  “Providing law enforcement with the knowledge and the tools needed to reverse overdoses will reduce the time between when an overdose victim is discovered and when they receive lifesaving assistance.”

Opioids cause death by slowing, and eventually stopping, the person’s breathing. When administered, naloxone restores respiration within two to five minutes, and may prevent brain injury and death.  Naloxone works on overdoses caused by opioids, which includes prescription painkillers and street drugs like heroin. Naloxone, sometimes referred to as Narcan, has no potential for abuse.

Law enforcement agencies and community organizations interested in learning more about naloxone or scheduling training sessions regarding the legal framework surrounding it are encouraged to contact the United States Attorney’s Office at (304) 234-0100.

Updated May 26, 2016

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