Thanks to Naloxone, an opioid antagonist also known as Narcan, three lives were saved from overdoses in the village in April.
Police Chief Bryon Meshew said the first life-saving incident happened April 15 when Sgt. Ed Hamilton received the call, he said, and upon arrival checked for vital signs. What he found was indicative of an overdose, Meshew said.
“She was blue and apparently not breathing,” he said.
Meshew said the individual in question needed six milliliters of Naloxone, which was given through a nasal spray.
The first two milliliters were provided by the Creston Police Department and administered by Canaan Township Fire Department representatives. The four extra milliliters of Naloxone were provided by the Fire Department, Meshew said, and were administered intravenously when the rest of the EMS squad arrived.
“It was a team effort,” Meshew said.
An action April 24 involved officer Jennifer Teston, whom Meshew said was serving her last day before she left to take a full-time position in South Carolina.
“This was quick action by the caller,” Meshew said, noting that person was resuscitated much easier than the first person.
In this case, he said, Canaan Township Fire Department also came on the scene after Teston administered the drug, reverting the overdose.
“She did excellent,” Meshew said, noting it was quite the way for Teston to leave the department.
Meshew said he and Hamilton responded to an overdose April 29. The individual had no pulse and was not breathing. Meshew said he began chest compressions and Hamilton administered the drug. The person started breathing following the first dose and was revived following the second.
“She was transported and all seems to be well,” Meshew said.
Meshew said he is pleased with the way his department responded and is thankful for his partnership with the Medway Drug Enforcement Agency. The program was made possible through the reallocation of state dollars by the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Wayne and Holmes Counties and was born from a recommendation from Don Hall, director of Medway.
Hall suggested the dual dosage Naloxone kits, Meshew said, and thus far that has proven a wise move. Hall said fentanyl-laced heroin is becoming increasingly common and “many times, it’s going to take more than one dosage.”
“It’s a much-needed tool,” Hall said.
In an email, Judy Wortham Wood, Mental Health & Recovery Board executive director, said many people have been thanking her agency for its work, but it was the law enforcement agencies that are the real heros.
“They identified a problem, asked for assistance, received training and resources and are now saving lives,” she said. “We are privileged in our community to have such wonderful partners I feel honored to be involved with Medway, all the officers including Creston Police, the Sheriff’s Office and deputies, our treatment agencies — especially STEPS with this project, our Wayne County leadership, judges and our Opiate Task Force.”
Since the beginning of 2015, Meshew said, his agency has responded to 12 or 13 overdoses, six in April.
Of the April cases not involving Naloxone, he said, there was one death. One person overdosed twice, Meshew said, and the individual was able to be resuscitated without assistance.
Reporter Thomas Doohan can be reached at 330-287-1635 or firstname.lastname@example.org