July 23, 2018  |  02:15 pm

An initiative by Sheriff Randy Smith has equipped St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies with NARCAN, a drug that counteracts the effects of opioids in users who have overdosed.

This initiative is in response to the continued rise of opioid-related overdoses in St. Tammany Parish and the increase in accidental exposure cases to law enforcement.

The single-use doses are in the form of a nasal spray and can be administered in known or suspected opioid overdose cases or in the event that an individual is accidentally exposed.

One hundred boxes - two doses in each - of NARCAN nasal spray were obtained from Florida Parishes Human Services Authority (FPHSA) at no cost to the STPSO. 

“There are often times when our deputies arrive on a scene, prior to EMS,” Sheriff Randy Smith said. “When someone is overdosing and time is of the essence, this tool gives our deputies the ability to immediately render aid and potentially save lives. NARCAN will not prevent a person from using drugs in the future, but it gives them a fighting chance to have a future where they can make better decisions and ultimately get the help they need to fight their addiction.”

St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston trained deputies on the proper use and administration of the nasal spray.