Naloxone has saved dozens of lives in Santa Barbara County, and officers with the Santa Barbara Police Department are now using the overdose medication, completing their training last week. Just yesterday, after dispatchers got a call of a woman in medical distress on the 1000 block of Miramonte Drive, Police Officer Brittney Rohrs administered the opioid antidote to the 28-year-old woman, who regained consciousness and was able to breathe on her own.
The first vial of Narcan that Rohrs gave the woman roused her briefly, but she fell unconscious again. Medics arrived, and Rohrs gave the drug again as the paramedics helped the woman breathe. She was taken to Cottage hospital in stable condition.
Overdose deaths from opioids have doubled nationwide from 2010 to 2016, from 21,000 to 42,000, police spokesperson Anthony Wagner advised. California requires all law enforcement officers to learn the signs of overdose and how to administer naloxone. The Santa Barbara Police Department’s program is in concert with county Behavioral Wellness and Pacific Pride Foundation. Wagner added that the deadly epidemic is fueled in part by illegal fentanyl, an extremely strong form of opioid, and other potent synthetics.