MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – One officer with the Myrtle Beach Police Department recently completed Narcan training. That officer is now certified to train the rest of the department on how to administer the drug.
Narcan is the drug used to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose, and has raised the question as to whether the life-saving drug is helping curb the drug epidemic, or if it’s creating a cyclical effect for users.
Because Myrtle Beach Police received this training through a grant from DHEC, part of the process in administering the drug will be to fill out a short form. That form, according to Lt. Joey Crosby with Myrtle Beach Police, will identify the Narcan recipient by name, and will then be sent to DHEC offices.
While the system seems to track recipients of Narcan, Lt. Crosby says there is no limit to the number of time a drug user can receive the drug – which begs the question: Is Narcan saving lives to give drug users a “wake-up call,” or is it reviving users who return to the streets only to use again?
Lt. Crosby says his officers responded to roughly 100 heroin-related calls in 2016. The seasoned Lieutenant says although Narcan is pertinent in saving lives, there has to be a rehabilitation process for drug users to get the drugs out of Myrtle Beach neighborhoods.
“To eliminate and address the drug problem, though, we have to break the cycle. That’s done through rehab and education,” explains Lt. Crosby. “So Narcan is a very important tool for us to have, but we also have to address this through rehab and education to break that cycle to get this person off the drug.”
Lt. Crosby says offering information to users after an overdose, however, isn’t good enough. There’s a need to educate the community on the dangers of heroin before Narcan is needed.
“Plus we also have to take the opportunity beforehand to educate the public and the potential user of the dangers they’re putting themselves into, and not only themselves, but what are the risks they’re bringing to their families as well,” identifies Lt. Crosby. “So we have to break that cycle to get them clean and off the drug.”
Now that the training officer is certified to instruct others on how to administer Narcan, the remainder of the Myrtle Beach Police Department will be educated on how to give the drug. A Narcan training schedule has not been set, and at this time, and Lt. Crosby says the department is still deciding which and how many officers will be trained to carry the drug.