Illinois continues the fight to decrease opioid deaths
The Illinois Department of Public Health plans to make Naloxone more readily accessible to trained pharmacists and first responders. That's the drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
Sgt. James Brown with the Quincy Police Department says law enforcement is on the front lines in the battle against opioid overdoses.
"Sometime the police departments, as first responders, we get there sometimes a lot quicker than the ambulance does," said Brown.
He says making Naloxone, also known as Narcan, more readily available has its pros and cons.
"It's a tricky situation, anytime this becomes available to the public. What we don't want is people to use this as a crutch to think now I can go to as much heroin as I want because my buddy can just Narcan me or something," said Brown.
Rosemary Trinkle of Preferred Family Health Care says her organization has treated many clients who have suffered from heroin addiction and have been saved by Narcan.
"Like a physical level it just dumps the opioids out of your system. If you're saving a heroin addic'ts life you're giving them the opportunity to attend treatment," said Trinkle.
Trinkle says Naloxone can help people of all ages.
"Anybody who is taking prescription opioids especially elderly people if they're getting their medications confused or whatever."
Sgt. Brown says QPD has carried Narcan for a little over two years now.
Adams County Sherriff Brian Vonderharr says his officers have carried Narcan for a little less than a year but haven't had to use the drug yet.