Sheriff's Office saving overdose victims with new easy-to-administer spray version of Narcan

News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office

Posted: Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016, 12:04 p.m.


Photos: [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ]

Nalaxone dose in rescue kitClackamas County Sheriff's Office Patrol deputies are saving lives -- and giving overdose victims a second chance -- with a new, easy-to-administer version of a drug that immediately halts the effects of dangerous opioids.

Patrol deputies are now carrying nasal-spray canisters of Narcan in their patrol vehicles. Narcan administers a dose of naloxone -- a drug that quickly blocks the effects of opioids (including heroin and various prescription pain pills) on the brain. A person suffering breathing problems due to an overdose of opioids can be revived with a prompt dose of Narcan, preventing brain damage or death due to loss of oxygen.

Sheriff's Office Lt. Rob Wurpes, an EMT-Basic, has experienced the loss of a family member to overdose. "Deputies being able to administer this life-saving medication -- it's powerful for victims and families," he said. "We hope it gives people a second chance to get treatment -- and get well."

Deputies and first responders trained in use of the new atomizer version of Narcan -- the drug can also be administered by pill or injection -- have recently saved lives in the field:

  • On July 21, 2016, deputies responded to the Johnson Creek Boulevard Fred Meyer on a report of an unresponsive male. The subject was located face down and would not respond to stimuli; his breathing was weak and labored. Deputies used an atomizer with 2mg of Narcan and provided a half-dose in each nostril. The man awakened almost immediately and was transferred to medical first responders.

"The effect was nearly instantaneous," recalled Deputy John Gibson, who administered the life-saving dose. "About eight deputies are carrying it in the field right now" -- Gibson carries his dose in the search-and-rescue pack in his vehicle.

Photos of Deputy Gibson with the Narcan nasal-spray kit are linked above, as is a photo of the kit in his rescue pack.

  • Just after midnight on Aug. 1, 2016, deputies responded to a report of an unresponsive male in a bathroom at a Pogy's Subs on McLoughlin Boulevard. The subject had overdosed and was completely unresponsive and was not breathing. Deputies administered sternum and chest compressions, after which the male began to experience labored breathing. After responding fire personnel administered Narcan, the subject regained normal breathing and consciousness before being transported to a hospital.

Field use of Narcan requires quick initial training for deputies by a physician. The product is safe and easy to use.

The Sheriff's Office decided to adopt Narcan for field use about 5 months ago after discussions with our medical director and partner EMS agencies about the life-saving difference this medical intervention can make.


Deputies involved in recent Clackamas County Narcan saves are available for media interviews. To set up an interview contact the Sheriff's Office PIO.


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Contact Info:
Sergeant Brian Jensen
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office