Newton County Sheriff Glenn Wheeler and his officers are the latest law enforcement agency in the 14th Judicial District to begin carrying Narcan. Baxter, Marion and Boone are the other four counties in the judicial district.
Narcan is the brand name for the drug naloxone, a medication used to block the effects of opioids, especially in the case of overdose. The drug has the ability to take effect in minutes and can be injected into a muscle or administered by a nasal spray.
Sheriff Wheeler says there are some misconceptions about opioid overdoes. He says overdoes can occur accidentally from prescription medications, as well as illicit drugs.
Wheeler says, “There is also the very real possibility of one of my deputies, jailers, dispatchers or K9s being accidentally exposed to fentanyl or other very dangerous drugs. This Narcan gives my personnel the ability to save lives, either of our employees or residents of our county.”
Wheeler says the Narcan kits were made available to his office through the generosity of Baxter Regional Medical Center (BRMC) and Prosecuting Attorney David Ethredge.
He says, “This is just another tool for us to try and save lives in Newton County.”
In late 2017, Prosecutor David Ethredge began spearheading an effort working with BRMC to secure funding for to provide Narcan kits to law enforcement agencies in the 14th Judicial District. The cost is covered by BRMC and asset forfeiture funding.