Many first responders bring Narcan on the job in case of an overdose amid the opioid epidemic. A police Officer in Columbus had to be administered with the nasal spray after an accidental exposure to drugs. ( Drew Angerer | Getty Images )
Recently released body cam footage of police officers from Columbus, Ohio, showed how officers administered Narcan on a colleague who fell ill after an accidental exposure to drugs during a drug-related arrest. The substance turned out to be methamphetamine, but the officers’ actions showed preparation and proper training.
Drug Arrest Emergency
Last April 8, Columbus, Ohio, police officers conducted a drug bust in which they ended up having to administer the opioid overdose-reversal drug Narcan on their colleague who suddenly felt sick after an accidental exposure. Evidently, in the process of collecting evidence, the powder substance blew into the officer’s face, and he soon felt ill.
In the bodycam video, a handcuffed woman can be seen being interrogated by an officer regarding the contents of the drugs they recovered from her vehicle. The woman states that to her knowledge, the drugs did not contain fentanyl and that her dealer said it was “ice,” which is another name for methamphetamine.
As a precaution, officers gave their colleague the Narcan nasal spray which was sprayed into the nostrils, and the officer was assisted out of the car to lie down on the floor and recover.
According to the Columbus Ohio Police’s social media posts, laboratory tests confirmed that the powder was methamphetamine and that even though Narcan is only used for opioid overdose incidents, the officers’ administration of the nasal spray as a precaution was appropriate and consistent with their training.
#FactsMatter 4/8/18, a Columbus police officer was involved in a
drug-related arrest. The officer felt ill. Other officers administered Narcan
as a precaution. The lab report found the powder was meth which is not an opioid. Narcan is only used to counter the effects of opioids. pic.twitter.com/SiiwCX4oPr — Columbus Ohio Police (@ColumbusPolice) April 13, 2018
Narcan And Methamphetamine
Narcan is an opioid overdose-reversal drug that is administered by being sprayed into the nostrils. Because of the current opioid epidemic that has claimed thousands of lives, first responders have been carrying the overdose antidote in case of an overdose emergency, whether for an opioid user or for the first responders themselves.
In the case of the police officer, the substance he inhaled was not an opioid, but the adverse effects he felt was due to methamphetamine, which may cause short-term health effects such as rapid or irregular heartbeat, increased body temperature, increased blood pressure, and faster breathing.
Although he was not experiencing an opioid overdose, the officers’ response shows how authorities are responding to the current opioid epidemic.
According to the CDC, 115 Americans die of drug overdose every day, 66 percent of whom died due to opioid usage. Of the states, West Virginia, New Hampshire, and Ohio are few of the hardest hit when it comes to the drug epidemic.
Just last February, the state of Ohio filed a lawsuit against four pharmaceutical companies for their contribution to the opioid epidemic in the state, claiming that the companies were aware that the opioids flowing into the state far exceeded the amount needed for medical purposes but did nothing about it.
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