DEDHAM, Sept. 3, 2013 – Norfolk County Sheriff Michael G. Bellotti has taken steps to equip his correction officers with Narcan, an emergency first-aid medication that saves lives by reversing the effects of drug overdoses.

The Narcan kits will be carried in Norfolk Sheriff’s Office vehicles and will be readily available inside the jail in case the officers encounter newly arriving inmates who have ingested a dangerous amount of drugs and have overdosed.

“Narcan is an extremely effective medication that temporarily reverses the effects of potentially deadly street drugs and allows us to get the person to a hospital to get the necessary emergency treatment,” Sheriff Bellotti said. “Narcan saves lives.”

Quincy Police officers have been carrying Narcan since they were chosen in 2010 to lead a pilot program to determine the effectiveness of the medication. Out of 186 cases where Narcan was given to overdosing subjects in Quincy, the effects were reversed in 177 instances. Of those nine where Narcan was not effective, four cases involved drugs such as cocaine that are resistant to the medication. The other five involved people who unfortunately were already dead before the Narcan was administered.

Narcan is effective in reversing overdoses involving heroin, oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin and other drugs classified as opioids. The cost of each Narcan kit is $22.

Quincy Police Detective Lt. Patrick Glynn, who received a Presidential citation for his work as a pioneer in the use of Narcan, recently visited the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office and Correctional Center in Dedham to present a training session on how and when to give the medication. Narcan is distributed in a nasal spray form that officers can easily and safely administer in the event of an overdose.

“We routinely take custody of people who just hours earlier were on the street,” Sheriff Bellotti said. “This window of time shortly after an arrest is the danger zone. These Narcan kits will help ensure that people make it through that danger zone and get back on track toward a drug-free, law-abiding and healthy way of life.”