NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Emergency medical technicians with the North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety’s Fire/ Rescue Division are now able to carry a drug to treat drug overdoses.
According to North Myrtle Beach spokesperson Pat Dowling, only certified paramedics were previously allowed to administer the life-saving drug in South Carolina until DHEC gave the “ok” for emergency medical techs to use Narcan with the approval of the department’s medical director.
Narcan is used for individuals who have overdosed on Opioid drugs such as Heroin, Fentanyl, Vicodin, Dilaudid, Demerol, and Percocet. Narcan is used when individuals are found to be unresponsive, have little or no respirations, and exhibit pinpoint pupils.
The drug is pushed into an individual’s nose via a misting device, similar to a nasal spray and quickly reduces the effects of Opiods in the body, allowing an individual to begin breathing again.
According to DHEC, there are currently only three other fire departments in South Carolina that allow their emergency medical technicians to administer Narcan. In our area, the Myrtle Beach Fire Department also recently began to carry Narcan.
In 2015 Horry County was second in the state for Narcan use. Greenville County was first with 709. The numbers this year for Narcan use in Horry County already surpassing what Greenville County did during all of 2015 and will likely exceed 1,000 by the end of the year.