Just days after some with Conway police received the lifesaving antidote to opioids at a training session, an officer used Narcan to revive an unconscious man.
On Saturday afternoon, an officer who had recently received Narcan at a training session Wednesday, March 22, happened to be dispatched to a call that involved a drug overdose at Food Lion on Fourth Avenue in Conway, according to a police report.
“It was really a blessing that he was on duty,” said Lt. Selena Small, spokeswoman with Conway police.
“Thankfully, we have to the tools and the opportunity to be in the area when it was needed,” Small said.
According to a Conway police report, officers were called about 12:30 p.m. for a possible drug overdose. When they arrived, they found a 41-year-old man laying on the ground unconscious, while Conway Fire Department crews tried to revive him, the report says.
Cpl. Justin Strickland gave the man Narcan, bringing him back from his unconscious state. He was then taken to Conway Medical Center by EMS. Police said they saw a needle and cotton ball with a white residue in plain sight inside his car.
Officers said they found another needle and three empty beer cans inside the man’s vehicle, and cited him in connection with open container and drug paraphernalia.
“It’s definitely helpful to have that training and have that available for everyone who deals with addiction or something along those lines … it’s very helpful to be able to give them a second chance … and for the families of that person suffering with addiction to have that second chance with that person. … Like I tell everyone this is someone’s child, their sibling, possibly a parent, a close friend, a loved one of some sort, that’s suffering with addiction and if you can do anything to help that person have a second chance … it’s always a good thing,” Small said.
She said after Wednesday’s training, so far about four officers have been certified to carry Narcan. Officials aim to have everyone with Conway police and fire trained and armed with the lifesaving remedy by the end of April, but until then they’ll try to have officers armed with Narcan on each day in case they’re needed, Small said.
The Conway officers were trained alongside law enforcement from about 14 different area agencies March 22 by a coalition composed of South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, S.C. Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services and others who travel the state teaching multiple agencies how to use Narcan.
Small added that it’s also a good tool for law enforcement to have in case an officer is accidentally exposed to drugs in the field.
“It’s something that’s positive for everyone involved,” said Small.