September 18, 2014

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Narcan revives Lorain overdose victim

LORAIN — After a year of work and months of waiting, police used Narcan to revive a county woman suffering from a heroin overdose for the first time on Tuesday.

Narcan — the formal name of which is naloxone — is a drug used to reverse the effects of heroin overdoses, bringing a person back to consciousness. For years, police in Lorain County could not legally use the drug on overdose victims.

However, because of legislation passed June 26, all police in Lorain County were equipped with a Narcan kit on Oct. 12 and allowed to use the drug in cases of overdose where police were the first responders.

On Tuesday afternoon, the kit may have helped them save a young woman’s life.

Lorain police Officer Bill Lachner received a call around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday of a 21-year-old woman unconscious due to a possible overdose on the 2300 block of East 29th Street.

Lachner said that the woman’s mother was performing CPR on her daughter on the balcony of their apartment.

Lachner and Officer Bryant Halsey arrived at the house, prepared with the Narcan kit and found the woman unconscious on the balcony with marks across her arms, evidence of heroin use, Lachner said. Since the two officers were the first responders at the scene, they had to administer the Narcan nasal spray immediately.

Lachner said the woman regained consciousness quickly and began waving her arms in confusion.

“She became combative,” he said.

LifeCare paramedics arrived seconds after Halsey and Lachner administered the Narcan dose and transported the 21-year-old to Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain.

Despite this being the first time police officers have used Narcan in Lorain County, Lachner said he wasn’t nervous about it.

“It’s a simple thing to use. … They’ve kind of dummy-proofed it,” he said.

Lorain police Officer Mike Giddich, who has been a big proponent of Narcan use by law enforcement, said that there are no charges pending for the 21-year-old overdose victim.

“The main goal (of Narcan) is to save lives,” Giddich said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.


  • Larry Crnobrnja

    No charges pending, yet they know she was using heroin? Utter lunacy.

    • jz

      On the surface yeah. However, in order to secure a conviction in court every crime has what is called the “elements of the crime” that all “elements” have to be met. It is a legal thing.

      • Larry Crnobrnja

        The idiot’s intent was to use an illegal substance and the idiot did indeed use the illegal substance, thereby harming his (or her) self.

        Yep, that about sums it up and clearly fits the bill. Utter lunacy.

        • Zen Grouch

          Don’t know where you got your legal training, but any two-bit shyster lawyer would make you look stupid in an open court, if you were to try and prove your above two assumptions.

          Talk about wasting tax dollars, the costs associated with keeping this person from dying are next to nothing compared to taking her to trial, just to lose the case.

  • Jennifer Williams

    The charges should be to send them to a treatment facility. When people come out of overdose usually start hallucinating and others once the detox starts to set in. I hope this saves lives to give them a second chance of life. Not a lot of people get that or they do and take it for granted. Do something about it overcome what you have done, make something of yourselves. Pay it forward!

  • Marlena Scott

    Her being combative is not unusual of Narcan. Nurses and doctors sometimes have to use it, but only as a last resort. It is very hard on the body systems. This woman is lucky. Unfortunately, this will be a complete waste of time unless she seeks treatment. Prayers for the
    young woman and her family.

    • Mirtha Gonzalez

      It is not a last resort. You have to be careful how much you give at once and it has a short half life so it needs to be repeated regularly but it is extremely common to give

  • alreadyfedup1

    Why bother. Next.

  • caroline

    People shouldn’t be charged for having the disease of addiction. We have been throwing addicts in jail for years and all that does is traumatize them and ruin any chances for a bright future. It didn’t work then and doesn’t work now. Its time for a different approach and i think its great that the officers are going to be carrying narcan on them now. Not every addict is your stereotypical shady junkie theif. Some of these people are productive members of society, but you will never know it because addicts can be very tricky at hiding these things. Bottom line, these people have a genetic chronic disease. We don’t look down on people for having diabetes and we don’t incarcerate people for getting lung cancer, even though they chose to smoke the cigarette! Have some compassion. This people are someones daughter, mother, husband,.son, Ect.

    People shouldn’t be afraid to call 911

  • Beth

    Good job LPD! I hope this woman uses this as a wake up call, and she and her family find treatment and help.

  • Lisa

    What are the risks associated with
    Naloxone (Narcan) use?

    While you need a prescription at present
    to be able to get Naloxone (Narcan), it is not a controlled medication. It has
    no street value and you cannot become addicted to it. If used by a person who
    doesn’t use opiates, at worst it might make them uncomfortable. The only
    exceptions would be for an individual who had an allergic reaction to Naloxone
    (Narcan) or a woman who was pregnant or nursing. There is an effort underway to
    make Naloxone (Narcan) available over-the-counter.

  • Jay Mescar

    Let mother nature do its work and don’t revive these druggies in the first place, natural selection people.

    • jz

      Glad people with your outlook are in the minority. I have no pity party for drug addicts, and pray they find the light. I have no respect for cold hearted people such as yourself. Jesus Christ washed Mary Magdelines feet. I,d be ashamed to put my name next to a statement like that. The devil is very smart Jay. Be weary.

      • Larry Crnobrnja

        Tough love, jz. Enablers are sinners.

        • jz

          Let somebody die is tough love? LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. Read up on their site.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            Face it, if every drug abuser disappeared off the face of the planet overnight, the world would be a better place.

          • jz

            Does that include Busch Jr. when he was doing it up his nose while skipping out of his mandatory urine tests? Does that include your hero Rush Limbaugh eating 20- 30 pain pills a day? What cracks me up is all the die hard fans of his who worshipped his mantras and now we know he was hopped up on pain pills the whole time.What about alcohol abusers? That is a drug also. There are people still up here Larry who “cleaned up” years ago and are wonderful productive human beings now. Where is your Christian belief that anybody can repent and live a drug free life starting tomorrow. Where is your humanity? You leave so many holes in your arguments that you’re either instinctively looking for an argument, or you like painting yourself into a corner over and over.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            I stand by my comment and I didn’t stutter. By the way, I decide who my hero is, not you.

            So you don’t believe the world would be a better place if all drug abusers vanished overnight? Do you realize most studies suggest more than 25% of crimes are committed for drug money? You don’t feel eliminating that would go a long way in making the world a better place? SMH @ U

          • jz

            Going by your previous comments I felt it safe to assume you would be a big Limbaugh fan. Why you should study up on LEAP? More than 25 percent of thefts are committed for drug money. Money that fuels the black market created in part by drug prohibition. “decide who my hero is, not you.” “all drug abusers vanished overnight.” Speak realistically. We get it. You,re very angry. How do you suggest we “eliminating that”. You don,t elaborate. Firing squads, drones for drug abusers? How about alcohol abusers? You talk like an angry 3rd grader.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            So clearly your response is a demonstration of your inability to carry on a coherent discussion. Apparently your problem is more with me than it is with what I said. That’s rather sad. You are now free to continue hiding behind your anonymity.

          • jz

            Yes. It is with the things you say and that translates to you. What else do we have to go on in a forum such as this other than the things we say? Coherent enough for you? The incoherence is how you don,t respond to the discussion points [ do Limbaugh , Busch, both one time drug abusers, or God forbid a time comes one of your family members succumbs to drug addiction], should they too be eradicated from the face of the earth like you suggest.] ? and deflect from the content of the discussion/ debate to yourself and how you are being attacked. They said about Jodi Arias nothing you throw at her sticks. It,s a personality trait. Coherent enough? Bottom line here going back to the beginning of this debate, Get off your overly judgemental horse and show some heart.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            A. This will be the second and last time I will answer your question; I stand by my comment, it doesn’t matter who you bring up.

            B. If you are trying to talk about our former president; his name is Bush, not Busch.

            C. Do you understand the meaning of eradicate? I do and I’m quite certain I didn’t make a suggestion to eradicate anyone.

            D. Why did you bring up Jodi Arias? Why? Why? Why?

            E. Do you know the difference between a comma and an apostrophe?

            F. Are you daft?

          • jz

            Like Arias nothing anybody throws at you sticks. Who cares about commas or apostrophes? Only your pettyness which as usual deflects from the substance of whatever the topic may be. You said the world would be a better place so I asked how do you suggest we deal with the addicts. It was obvious and logical that possibly, I stress possibly, you were suggesting we eradicate them. You easily could have cleared that up. In searching for clarification you continue to do whatever is is you do. One thing in my opinion you do not do is debate intelligently or with much depth. The Arias question is about as dumb as it gets. You make it seem like I came up with it out of nowhere and that it is irrelevent when it is clear to see my Arias reference was addressing yours and her penchant for “nothing sticks to her” when trying to get a definitive answer on something. Are you daft? Commas and apostrophes? You flunk the 3rd grade debate team.

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            Interesting perspective you have there. Other than seeing a mention of the Arias case on the news, I haven’t cared to follow the story at all.

            Who cares about commas and apostrophes? Those who care about communicating with proper English.

            The planet would be a better place without drug abusers. Try to digest that concept and respond with a cogent argument.

          • jz

            Yes the planet would be a better place w/o drug and alcohol abusers. However, there will always be 3-5 percent of the population who will addicted to something. Take some time and study up on LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and entertain the notion that our drug policies, like our war on poverty, actually create more of the same problems the policies purport to be fighting against. These are cops, ex DEA, judges etc who advocate the, well, look it up and see what you think. Some of LEAP’s membership include Walter Cronkite, Alexander Haig, George Shultz, Serpico, William F. Buckley , Ron Paul, former New Mexico Governor Richardson, and many former members of law enforcement and the courts who believe we can reduce crime drastically, and dismantle the black market which is where most of the violence occurs because of the enormous profits to be made. I have no sympathy for for drug addicts, maybe a little empathy for some of them as long as they do not commit other crimes to get the money for their drugs and do not encourage that lifestyle any more than I would encourage an alcoholic lifestyle. When they steal to support their habits then ship them to prison. Point here is a change in our drug law policies would minimize and maybe even do away with the crime so prevalent as a result of drug abusers, but just as much a result of our drug policies. One of LEAP’s mottos. . Al Capone/Pablo Escobar/Same Problem/Same Solution.

          • Zen Grouch

            But how would people know what to think after Rush Limbaugh’s head explodes?

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            It wouldn’t affect me. Why do you ask?

          • Zen Grouch

            So, I can’t ask a question unless it directly affects you?

            …so Rushlike!

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            A falling tree in the forest doesn’t make noise if nobody is there to hear it.

          • Zen Grouch

            I hear Rush is so deaf from Oxycontin abuse, he can’t hear a falling tree either, unless he turns his hearing aids all the way up…

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