HARTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) – Tuesday Hartsville police received training on how to use Narcan, the medication that can reverse the effects of a drug overdose.
Last week, Hartsville City Council approved a resolution to allow Hartsville police to receive Narcan.
Lt. Mark Blair the Hartsville Police Administrative Lieutenant said there is no increase in overdoses in the city but the department of 35 wants to have Narcan as a preventative measure.
“People are cutting heroin with fentanyl. People are using fentanyl by itself to get high,” explained Blair. “We know it is coming. So this is a preventative measure for us so if and when it does happen we’ll be able to keep our people safe.”
The city’s population grows from 8,000 to 33,000 people a day with Duke Energy, Sonoco and Coker College.
“It’s a small town but we have a large crowd of people coming in and most of those people are great but every now and then you’ll have somebody that bring in that could be dangers to citizens,” adds Blair.
According to information from Rubicon Addiction services study. In 2015, there were three prescription drug deaths in Darlington County and seven in 2016.
Cindy Shipman the Rubicon Empowering Communities for a Healthy Outcome (ECHO) coordinator wants people in the county to know more about addiction.
“Some people want to just sweep it under the rug and hope it goes away,” said Shipman. “This is something that is not going to go away. We need as a community to work together with this problem. It’s not just law enforcement or counseling services, it’s the community.”
Blair said the Narcan will also help first responders that come in contact with fentanyl powder.
“It’s really important for our officers to have something that if they get exposed. Or a fireman gets exposed. Or an ambulance worker gets exposed to enable them to counteract the effects of the drug until they can get to the hospital,” said Blair.
The Narcan training and kit does not cost the city or county anything because it is sponsored by the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the Law Enforcement Officer Naloxone (LEON).
Each officer received a Narcan kit after the training.