Saugerties man saved with three doses of Narcan

Narcan administration demo

Saugerties Police revived a 25-year-old man who overdosed this morning. Police received the call at 7:36 a.m. reporting a man who’d overdosed on an unknown substance in a home on 9W in Saugerties. Ulster County 911 reported that the subject was unconscious, unresponsive and CPR instructions were being given to the caller. Ulster County 911 also reported that the caller had administered one one dosage of Narcan which was ineffective. Saugerties Police officers arrived on-scene and administered two doses of Narcan. The man was attended to by members of Diaz Ambulance and the Glasco Fire Company. The man regained consciousness and was transported by Diaz Ambulance to the Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley Broadway Campus Hospital where he was further treated.

Saugerties police began carrying Narcan, which halts the effects of an opiate overdose, in 2014 in response to the increase in local usage of heroin and prescription opiates. In 2016, there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths in the United States according to the CDC. The number of overdoses involving a synthetic opiate, most notably Fentanyl, which is added to increase the potency of heroin, doubled from 2015 to 2016.  Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50.

There are 2 comments

  1. Joseph

    Tough call bringing these druggies back to life. Tax payer dollars for the cops to respond , the Narcin, then his rehab, then court costs when arrested committing a crime to support his habit and finally prison costs once convicted.

    1. Cherrycoke

      I hope you never lose someone close to you from this.

      As far as the cost, yes, there is a cost, but it’s easy to exaggerate. Police are on duty responding to calls regardless of whether there are any. The cost isn’t any more or less. Generic naloxone costs $20. Rehab and court costs- there may not be any if he’s not charged with anything. If he is charged, it’s not like court costs are proportionally more for each person processed. It’s kind of like school costs. People think per pupil spending means if 20 new kids start school it will cost taxpayers 20 x $15,000, when in reality, if those kids are spread out over the grades and don’t require hiring any new staff, the cost is minimal.

      I understand that it seems wasteful for us to mobilize resources to try to save people who, through their choices, seem not to value their lives. This is especially the case with those who are repeatedly revived in this way. As a society we’re willing and able to prevent people from dying but we don’t have much to say about why their life should have value beyond just feeling good. What is worth the pain and sacrifice of getting clean for someone with a brain wired for addiction? What’s the point? What are we supposed to be doing here?

      This isn’t the kind of thing a newspaper, cop or elected representative can or should answer. But since we have a cheap drug that counteracts the effects of an opiate overdose, I don’t see how we can say ‘no, not worth the trouble” when a 911 call comes in. If that’s not worth the trouble, what is? That is a choice we have made as a society and it the moral one. We can give the people who are revived the opportunity for a moment of clarity. Surely for some amount of them, this is rock bottom.

      And if we did decide that the people who are revived need to foot the bill, then some addicts who have cut off contact or whose families have written them would simply die. But I assure you most any family with a savings account or a house in its name would pay for another chance to save their loved one. There is no way to put the pain of loss on a scale on one side with a dollar amount on the other.

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