Dixon first responders to leave Narcan behind for OD patients who refuse treatment

DIXON, Illinois — First responders in Dixon are trying an initiative to prevent overdose deaths in the future by leaving something behind when they are sent to overdose calls.

The Dixon Fire Department and Safe Passage Initiative have teamed up to combat drug overdose deaths in the community.  Starting on Monday, August 12, anytime they respond to a drug overdose, the fire department will be leaving behind Narcan when the patient refuses treatment, according to a statement from the city.

Narcan is the brand name for the medication that works to counter the effects of an opioid overdose. It’s administered when a patient is showing signs of an overdose.

In addition to leaving Narcan behind, firefighters also plan to leave information on the Safe Passage program and substance abuse treatment.  Safe Passage is a program in place that prevents people suffering from an opioid addiction from getting into legal trouble if they enter the police station or sheriff’s department and ask for help with their addiction.  More than 350 people have received treatment through the Safe Passage program.

Click here to learn more about the Dixon Safe Passage program.

“The availability of this life-saving medication and accompanying resource lists will no doubt make a difference in someone’s road to recovery,” said Fire Chief Ryan Buskohl.

A health blog on the topic of naloxone points out that the medication could potentially give an overdose patient a false sense of security in recovering from their overdose.  Emergency physician Scott Weiner, M.D. wrote about the use in the Harvard Health Publishing blog, saying that the effects of naloxone is often shorter than the effects of the opioids being used.  When someone uses naloxone under the care of a physician, they are monitored to ensure they don’t overdose again.

Related: Where the opioid crisis stands and how it’s being combated across the nation

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