Marco Island police administers opioid overdose reversal Narcan for the first time
Marco Island police officers administered the anti-opioid overdose drug Narcan for the first time, according to a department news release.
At approximately 2:47 a.m., Feb. 19, police officers were dispatched to a residence on S. Barfield Drive due to a medical emergency. Upon arrival, officers found a man laying on the floor with an apparent overdose.
"Officer Howell administered a dose of Narcan as the patient was laying on the ground, not conscious but breathing," according to the police report.
The man had recently suffered a similar health emergency, according to the release.
"Officers were aware of this patient from a call earlier in the evening related to a drug overdose when Collier County EMS administered Narcan and transported the male to the hospital, where he was subsequently released."
"During the second incident officers administered an initial dosage and followed-up with a second dose which achieved the desired results."
Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department and Collier County EMS arrived on-scene and the patient was subsequently transported to Physicians Regional - Collier Blvd.
Collier County EMS Chief Tabatha Butcher confirmed the agency was dispatched twice to help the same individual.
"We did respond to the same person twice within 5 hour(s) of each other," Butcher wrote in an email on Feb. 26. "Both times we transported the patient to the hospital for a possible overdose."
"It appears that the patient may have done more drugs after release from the hospital the first time."
The department announced on Dec. 24 it had partnered with Families of Grace, a nonprofit focused on education about the opioid crisis, Collier County EMS and the Marco Island Fire-Rescue Department, to carry and administer Narcan.
Narcan, otherwise known as Naloxone, is used to counter the effects of opioid overdoses.
"It is an opioid antagonist — meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids," according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications."
While Marco Island has not seen a spike in opioid overdoses like other municipalities, MIPD Capt. Dave Baer called the drug essential for law enforcement given that officers are often times the first to respond to the scene.
"While Collier County EMS and Marco Fire-Rescue are highly trained professional organizations with exceptional response time, law enforcement officers are often the first on unsecured scenes involving drug overdoses, therefore the quick deployment of Narcan is essential," he said following the December announcement.
"In addition to citizens who are experiencing a drug overdose, Narcan has also been used to save the lives of police officers in other jurisdictions who become inadvertent overdose victims or are unknowingly exposed to opioids through contact with drugs in law enforcement situations."
Additional reporting by Devan Patel.
Omar Rodríguez Ortiz is a community reporter for Naples Daily News and Marco Eagle. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram as @Omar_fromPR, and on Facebook. Support his work by subscribing to Naples Daily News.