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City, County receive NARCAN doses

Posted Date: 05/23/2024

City, County receive NARCAN doses

Kyle Evatt with NAPHE (North Arkansas Partnership for Health Education) received almost three thousand doses of NARCAN to be distributed among the counties he serves.

Evatt said, “The Department of Adult Aging Behavioral Health Services (DAABHS) came across some funds in their new fiscal year to purchase NARCAN. They have tasked me and my counterparts across the state to disseminate NARCAN to the 13 prevention regions areas.”

His office serves Baxter, Boone, Marion, Newton, and Searcy Counties. “We received about 2,900 kits, and more than 1,500 are staying in Boone County.”

“They wanted this product into as many hands as possible,” Evatt said.

Explore Harrison's Executive Director Matt Bell assisted Evatt in dividing the County’s doses among the Boone County Sheriff’s Office, Harrison Police Department, Harrison Fire Department, and Explore Harrison.

When emergency personnel arrive on a scene where a drug overdose is suspected, they can administer NARCAN and possibly save the person’s life. After being treated with NARCAN, seeing a doctor for a follow-up is always advisable.

“Encouraging people to get medical attention right then is always important. The opioids in the brain last longer than the NARCAN does. You can revive someone; they go home and then go back into overdose state because the NARCAN has worn off,” Evatt said.

“It sprays as one squirt. Don’t prime it. It’s super easy to use,” Evatt said. “Put it up to the nose and push the plunger. Then you’re done. They say NARCON is very safe. So if you see someone passed out on the sidewalk and you administer NARCAN, and they are just a heavy sleeper, you aren’t going to hurt them.”

“But, NARCAN only works for opioid overdoses,” Boone County Sheriff Roy Martin said.

“It does work with fentanyl because that is a synthetic opioid,” Evatt said. “They are saying since so many drugs are being laced with fentanyl, even if it’s a meth overdose, there is a chance there is fentanyl in it, and it may do them some good,” Evatt said.

Fire Chief Marc Lowery said, “Not only is NARCAN good for someone who has overdosed on opioids, it’s good for all emergency response personnel. It is a concern that anyone responding could come across some fentanyl and go down before anyone knew what happened.“

The firefighters were concerned we could come across some fentanyl and go down before anyone knew what happened.”

Martin said, “Six months ago, we had a deputy react to something. We’ve sent his blood off to be analyzed and still don’t know what he came in contact with. We had to NARCAN him there at the Sherrif’s Office, and the EMTs used it again in the ambulance. Then, at the hospital, they placed him on a NARCAN drip. He stayed on that for several hours. The deputy had collected evidence from a scene where suspected cocaine was located. He’s fine now.”

“Gloves protect our guys, and we tell them to double-glove,” Harrison Police Chief Chris Graddy said. “But if your skin comes in contact with it, that’s very dangerous. Even If you get it on your glove and rub your face,” Graddy said. 

Lowery added, “If you have a plastic bag of drugs and open it, the drugs go into the air, and you breathe the dust. You’ve been exposed.”

“Gloves are helpful, but it’s easy to ingest in many ways accidentally,” Lowery said.

Lowery said the fire department has had to purchase NARCAN in the past because they are called to so many potential overdose scenes. The agencies were very grateful for the donation – not only to assist the public but to help the officers assisting with the public.

NARCAN is a Naloxone HCI Nasal Spray and is designed for emergency treatment of opioid overdose.

Evatt said he has more doses if an organization needs to keep some handy. The NAPHE office is at 303 N. Main Street at Signature Tower, Suite 3. His phone number is 870-391-3367.