Local deputies are only law enforcement to carry opioid inhibitor in LC Valley
CLARKSTON, WA —
Opioid use is on the rise across the country, and that includes right here in the LC Valley.
The Asotin County Sheriff’s Office has been carrying Narcan for the past eight months. It’s to stop an overdose in the field if EMS crews can’t arrive in time.
The Asotin County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t had to use Narcan in the field just yet.
But Sheriff John Hilderbrand said drug numbers are still on the rise.
“It’s coming to the valley, and we’re seeing the increase,” said Hilderbrand.
He added that rise includes Heroin and OxyContin.
Hilderbrand knows any situation can turn violent when someone is high on drugs, which is one of the reasons why he has his deputies carry Narcan in the field.
“It actually blocks the receptors for opioids,” he explained. “You hear becoming very violent whenever you stop that high. That’s what it does. It stops their high. It keeps the opioids from getting into the system.”
In addition, deputies might be the only first responder that can provide aid at a given time.
“With our setting, we’re more rural,” said Hilderbrand. “We may be the first one to encounter that overdose, prior to EMS getting to the scene.”
The sheriff said with summer on the way, it’s a fair idea to assume drug use would rise in the valley when the weather starts to heat up.
He can’t guess if Narcan will be needed any time soon, but they have it for a reason.
“It’s a guessing game. We hope we never have to use it, but if we do, then we do have it.”
The Asotin County Sheriff’s Office is the only law enforcement agency in the LC Valley to carry the opioid inhibitor, and Pullman Police are the only ones on the Palouse.
Sheriff Hilderbrand adds that jail deputies even have Narcan as a precaution in case they bring someone in and they have a reaction to an opioid.