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Mercer County Deputies to Use Narcan to Reverse Heroin Overdoses
MERCER COUNTY -- Mercer County Sheriff's deputies will soon carry Narcan.
That's the drug used on heroin overdoses, and it miraculously brings people back to life.
More and more people are appearing in the Mercer County courthouse because of heroin. And now the sheriff's office is taking steps to save people's lives.
"The word I was getting is here in Celina, it was easier to find than marijuana," says Matthew Ronan, the Site Supervisor of Foundations Behavioral Health Services.
Ronan is talking about heroin and sees heroin users everyday.
"There was a time where we would be lucky, I say lucky, if one out of 10 people that came in the door heroin was the issue. Like I say, now it's like 7 out of 10 people that are coming in the door," said Ronan.
Heroin has reached an all time high in the state of Ohio.
In fact, according to the Ohio Department of Health, heroin related deaths have jumped 40% from 2011 to 2012, and it's not just an inner city problem.
"There's been too many overdose deaths. We just experienced one in the City of Celina on Sunday," Sheriff Jeff Grey, Mercer County Sheriff's Office.
"It's a very cheap drug, they say the high is more intense, but yes a cheap drug," said Ronan.
Which makes it more addictive and easy to get.
It's because of that that Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey is now training his deputies to use Narcan, and will soon have it in every cruiser in the department.
"A lot of our ambulance services are volunteer, so at midnight one of clock in the morning if somebody OD's we might have a cruiser two or three miles away, but it's a 20 minute response time for an ambulance, so we're just trying to save lives with it," said Sheriff Grey.
According to Sheriff Grey, that's his job.
"No matter what you think about the heroin problem, we've got to remember they're people and they're somebody's family and we got to do what we can to help them," said Sheriff Grey.
Sheriff Grey says his deputies will start trading in with Narcan next month before the kits are out in the cruisers.
Soon after, they'll be there for the deputies to use, but he hopes they won't have to.
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