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updated: 3/28/2014 5:31 AM

Police equipped with overdose reversal drug save two lives

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For the second time in less than a week, police officers who participated in a DuPage County program have used the opiate overdose reversal drug Narcan to save someone's life.

On Wednesday night, two Hanover Park police officers gave Narcan to a 29-year-old man who was overdosing on heroin, county health officials said. The officers learned how to administer the drug through the DuPage Narcan Program, which is part of the county's multitiered effort to combat heroin.

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"The fact that our department just completed the DNP training a week ago and already put this lifesaving training to use to save a life is amazing," Hanover Park police Chief David Webb said.

The case came after a DuPage sheriff's deputy administered Narcan on Saturday to a 32-year-old woman who was overdosing on heroin in an unincorporated area near Villa Park.

"The ultimate goal of this community partnership is to save lives, and that is exactly what is occurring," said Karen Ayala, executive director of the DuPage County Health Department.

Narcan, also known as Naloxone, is a nonaddictive drug that counteracts the effects of opiates, including heroin and OxyContin.

While paramedics long have been equipped to provide Narcan to overdose victims, the DuPage program is making it possible for police officers to carry the drug in their squad cars. Officials say they expect more than 1,200 officers from 26 departments to be trained and deployed with Narcan by May.

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