SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Shelby County deputies are now able to administer Narcan when responding to opioid overdoses.
The deputies recently under went the proper training on how to use Narcan, a drug that is administered during an overdose to reverse the effects.
The Sheriff’s office said there are more than 1,000 units of the drug that could be used by deputies on patrol.
Memphis police and firefighters under went Narcan training last year.
The announcement comes at a critical time.
In November, WREG reported that 13 people died due to opioid overdoses in Shelby County in just a two week period.
The Shelby County Health Department said 77 percent of the deaths were in the Memphis city limits. And 62 percent were white men. When it comes to black and white women, they were equally affected at 15 percent.
The average age ranges between 30 and 39.
“After meeting with the Memphis Police Organized Crime Unit today, they stated that the majority of the opioid deaths that they’re seeing in Memphis and Shelby County are pills that are being pressed on the street and laced with fentanyl,” Dr. Ted Bender with Turning Point said.
According to the National Safety Council, nationally the odds of accidentally dying from an opioid overdose in the U.S. are now greater than those of dying in an automobile accident.
Examining a variety of federal and state data the NSC found the lifetime odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose were 1 in 96. For motor vehicle accidents the odds were 1 in 103 and 1 in 114 for falls. The lifetime odds of suicide were greater, at 1 in 88.
“Too many people still believe the opioid crisis is abstract and will not impact them. Many still do not see it as a major threat to them or their family,” said Maureen Vogel, spokeswoman for the National Safety Council told CNN in an email. “These data show the gravity of the crisis. We have known for some time that opioid overdose is an everyday killer, and these odds illustrate that in a very jarring way.”
The NSC also found the lifetime odds of death for this form of overdose were greater than the risk of death from falls, pedestrian incidents, drowning and fire.
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