Two Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies administered LCSO’s first life-saving in-the-field naloxone treatment Wednesday.
Deputies Placido Sanchez and Erick Ambroise responded to a western Loudoun home where a man was slipping in and out of consciousness before becoming unresponsive with indications of drug use.
Recognizing a potential heroin overdose, Ambroise administered his agency-issued naloxone to revive the man, who was taken to Inova Loudoun Hospital for treatment. Hospital personnel advised the deputies they had likely saved the man’s life.
The treatment marked the first time naloxone was used in the field since a pilot program begun in December. Sanchez and Ambroise are among 31 Loudoun deputies trained last year to carry and administer nasal naloxone, which can quickly reverse the effects of opiates such as heroin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.
“We are proud of these two deputies who utilized their training effectively to potentially help save a life, but this is just one part of our efforts to have an impact on those effected by heroin addiction,” said Sheriff Mike Chapman, promising that the sheriff’s office follows up on drug-related cases to determine who is supplying them.
“We also understand we cannot arrest our way out of this problem, this is why we have taken a proactive approach with our partners in the community to develop educational and prevention programs,” Chapman said.
The pilot program is part of the comprehensive approach of the Heroin Operations Team (HOT) initiative announced by Chapman and U.S. Representative Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10) in April 2015. The initiative combines the efforts of local, state, and federal law enforcement; Loudoun County public schools; the Loudoun County Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Developmental Services; and other offices within the Community Services Board.
Comstock congratulated Sanchez and Ambroise on their life-saving work.
“The use of heroin is gripping our community, but through the efforts of Sheriff Mike Chapman’s office and the Heroin Operations Team, we are fighting this scourge on all fronts with law enforcement action and community involvement,” Comstock said.
Law enforcement agencies across the country have begun equipping their personnel with naloxone in response to an increase in opiate overdoses nationwide. Fatal overdoses of heroin have nearly tripled nationwide since 2010. In Loudoun County, the number of fatal heroin overdoses increased significantly between 2013 and 2014, however, collective efforts in Loudoun County for this year resulted in a decline of fatal overdoses in 2015.