Myrtle Beach first responders say carrying Narcan nasal spray helped prevent overdose deaths in 2017

MYRTLE BEACH (WBTW) – It’s been a little over a year since the Myrtle Beach Fire and Police Department first started carrying Narcan in the nasal spray form. The antidote helps to combat the effects of an opioid overdose, and traditionally is carried and administered only by advanced life support medics (ALS’s).

Lt. Jonathan Evans with The Myrtle Beach Fire Department said in the past year they have administered the spray nearly 300 times.

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“The way it’s done is through the nose, and you don’t have to worry about the intravenous, and you don’t have that extra paramedic knowledge.” Evans said.

According to the Horry County Coroner:

  • 2016: 126 people died from opioid overdoses
  • 2017: 103 people died from opioid overdoses

Captain Joey Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department said that their officers decided to have it accessible in every patrol vehicle in 2017, due to the growing issue with heroine and other opioids in Myrtle Beach.

“For instance, we had an automobile accident at Joe White and Oak Street recently where the person had been given Narcan to revive them so there’s situations like that where the Fire Department isn’t the first on scene,” Crosby said.

Horry County Fire Rescue currently only uses the traditional injectable Narcan, where ALS  paramedics are only authorized to administer it.  PIO Mark Nugent said it’s a long term goal to have the nasal spray accessible to all of their firefighters.