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Santa Barbara Police Department
Tuesday September 24th, 2019 :: 10:28 a.m. PDT


SBPD’s Week-Old Public Health Program Marks First Life Saved

On Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 7:25 A.M. the Santa Barbara Police Department Combined Communications Center received a 911 call reporting a woman in medical distress in the 1000 Block of Miramonte Drive.

Santa Barbara Police Officer Brittney Rohrs was the first to arrive on scene. On arrival, she found a 28-year-old woman laying partially in the street near the curb line, unconscious with intermittent and labored breathing.

Officer Rohrs’ training and experience led her to believe that the woman was suffering from a drug overdose. She rapidly radioed that information to inbound medics and retrieved one vial of NARCAN from her emergency bag, quickly administering the nasal spray to the victim. The woman roused from her stupor briefly, only to lose consciousnesses again. A second vial was administered, and the now-arrived medics continued with their life-saving techniques.

Medics were able to stabilize the woman and transport her to Cottage Hospital, where she is expected to survive. The early detection and immediate administration of NARCAN saved her life.

In August 2019, the Santa Barbara Police Department partnered with the Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness Department, Alcohol and Drug Program and Pacific Pride Foundation’s Health and Prevention Program to acquire enough life-saving naloxone to be deployed with all of our sworn police officers.

Naloxone, the active ingredient in a NARCAN vial, is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids. 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.

Last week, Officers completed state-mandated training to learn how to safely administer naloxone in the case of a suspected drug overdose. Each patrol officer is now carrying NARCAN® Nasal Spray. It is a prefilled, needle-free device that requires no assembly and is sprayed into one nostril while patients lay on their back.

Fact Sheet

According to the Office of the Surgeon General, over the past 15 years, individuals, families, and communities across our nation have been tragically affected by the opioid epidemic, with the number of overdose deaths from prescription and illicit opioids doubling from 21,089 in 2010 to 42,249 in 2016. This steep increase is attributed to the rapid proliferation of illicitly made fentanyl and other highly potent synthetic opioids.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 130+ people a day die from opioid-related drug overdoses in the U.S.

If you or someone you know meets any of the following criteria, there is elevated risk for an opioid overdose:

• Misusing prescription opioids (like oxycodone) or using heroin or illicit synthetic opioids (like fentanyl or carfentanil).
• Having an opioid use disorder, especially those completing opioid detoxification or being discharged from treatment that does not include ongoing use of methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone.
• Being recently discharged from emergency medical care following an opioid overdose.
• Being recently released from incarceration with a history of opioid misuse or opioid use disorder.
• You have an important role to play in addressing this public health crisis.
• Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about obtaining naloxone; It can also be acquired Pacific Pride’s Center in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Police Department
215 East Figueroa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-897-2300

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