INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Independence County Sheriffs Office is listed as the first in Arkansas to get kits to treat overdose victims.
According to Sheriff Shawn Stephens, his department is the first in Arkansas to have NARCAN at its disposal.
The drug is an emergency treatment of suspected opioid overdose.
Stephens said the idea came from a licensed nurse practitioner, Alisa Lancaster.
Earlier this month, Lancaster instructed a class of law enforcement personnel on how to properly use the nasal spray before calling EMS.
Stephens said they've learned the signs and symptoms of overdose, how to administer the treatment, and what to do with the person as they start to recover.
"There are two other police departments that started this before, which is Benton, Maumelle, and Batesville P. D. who is now the third police department in the state to carry NARCAN," Stephens said.
Stephens said there's enough NARCAN for two doses in each box if the person remains unresponsive.
"I think it's great that we're bringing this to rural Arkansas," Stephens said. "There's two big metropolitan police departments that are using it. And I think it's good for rural Arkansas that we have to be able to bring to the citizens to be able to help people."
Although they received this life-saving drug a week ago, Sheriff Stephens said they haven't had to use it yet.
The Independence County Sheriff's Office was also given trauma bags from the White River Medical Center, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Citizens Bank, and the county's Communication Relations Team.
Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.