Opiate antidote proves useful as abuse increases

3 years 1 month 1 week ago Wednesday, September 07 2016 Sep 7, 2016 Wednesday, September 07, 2016 3:10:00 PM CDT September 07, 2016 in News
By: Meg Hilling, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Almost one year in, the Boone County Fire Protection District said it is seeing positive results from carrying opiate overdose antidotes on its trucks.

The fire department has been carrying the opiate-related overdose reversal drug, best known as Narcan, on all of its trucks since November 2015.

According to BCFPD Assistant Chief Gale Blomenkamp, the department has administered the drug on three occasions since. Two of those events have taken place in the last two months.

"One of them was a gentlemen that was in a vehicle actually at a gas station, and was overdosing on an opiate- based drug, and so we were able to give the drug and, in fact, he was alert, conscious, oriented, talking to us," Blomenkamp said.

He said the department has no regrets about the decision to carry the drug.

"We felt, as a service to our customers, that we had to start carrying this drug, because you look at 10, 15, 20 minute response times for some ambulances in our district," he said.

The Columbia Police Department said it is not carrying the drug. The Boone County Sheriff's Department did not respond to a request for information from KOMU 8 News.

In January of 2016, the CDC released a report saying, since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137 percent , including a 200 percent increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers and heroin.

According to Heather Harlan, a prevention and treatment specialist at Phoenix Health Programs, the spike is becoming more visible in mid-Missouri.

"What has been termed an epidemic is happening with opiate addiction in our community and the country," Harlan said.

Since the beginning of 2016, she said, she has seen a large influx of clients coming to Phoenix Health Programs with opiate addiction struggles.

"Across the board, young, old, rich, poor, very successful professional people that are prominent in the community, and people who are homeless" she said.

Given the the increase, Harlan said she would like to see the community take a more active stance, as the fire department has, when it comes to battling the addiction issue.

"It is a matter of concern, I think, to those who are in health care professions that people probably wouldn't hesitate to carry insulin if someone had a diabetic reaction, to know what to do to save a life, but we might be hesitant to do that for opiate, for someone who had an opiate overdose," Harlan said.

The antidote, which is administered through the nose, costs around $50 per dose, which means the fire department spends anywhere between $4,000 to $5,000 dollars every two years to stock the drug.

Despite the price, Blomenkamp said it's worth it.

"You save one life, it's worth it," he said.

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY- According to Missouri KidsFirst, almost one in ten kids will be sexually abused by the time they are... More >>
21 minutes ago Monday, October 21 2019 Oct 21, 2019 Monday, October 21, 2019 7:37:00 AM CDT October 21, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Attorney General Eric Schmitt is set to host four senior safety presentations in October. The presentations,... More >>
11 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 8:43:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - More than 600 people and 11 sponsors gathered in Cosmo Park for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:53:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — David Cover, a co-pastor at The Crossing, addressed the controversy over last week's sermon by fellow co-paster... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:03:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia police arrested a man on multiple charges after the shooting of a 13-year-old boy Saturday night. ... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 1:15:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One person was transported to the hospital in relation to a weapons offense Sunday morning, according to... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 11:27:00 AM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Children in St. Louis have been the victim of homicides at 10 times the national rate... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:34:54 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he is reversing his plan to hold the next Group of Seven world... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:19:49 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police were seen searching the area near the scene of a crash Saturday afternoon. Police responded to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 8:31:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members came together Saturday for a Walk and Roll-A-Thon in recognition of Disability Employment Awareness Month. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 5:11:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Demonstrators rallied at Speakers Circle on Saturday for the first ever National Period Day. Organizers said they... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:47:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members got the chance to challenge Columbia police officers in their favorite video games during the department's... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:41:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Grassroots organizations are working across Missouri to persuade gun-related business owners to join efforts to limit... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:37:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
SALINE COUNTY — Three Saline County children abducted in 2017 were found in Arlington, Texas on Thursday, according to the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 2:15:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One Lincoln man is dead following a crash between a motorcycle and a tractor-trailer Friday night on... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 1:19:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Water and Light department said it believes all power has been restored in Columbia. About... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 10:05:00 AM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
MARSHALL - The suspect in a pair of shootings in early October has been caught out of state, police announced... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 9:10:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA - A man heard his sentence on Friday after killing a 20-year-old three years ago for drunk driving. ... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 58°
8am 55°
9am 56°
10am 56°
11am 57°