ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - A Howard County deputy is being credited with saving a life today, while in court after an opioid overdose.
Tuesday also marked the same day the county announced a new initiative to battle the opioid epidemic.
So far this year in Howard County, there have been 216 overdoses -- 55 of them fatal. Of the 161 non-fatal overdoses, 145 people (90 percent) were saved by anti-overdose drug Narcan.
One more life was saved by a Howard County deputy at the county courthouse.
“Quite frankly, a deputy saved someone’s life today,” explained Howard County Sheriff Bill McMahon.
“Our deputies were in court as usual. Someone passed out in the hallway, so the deputies responded. Based on the training that we just gave them, they recognized that as an opioid overdose and very quickly were able to get Narcan administered to the person, which bought us enough time for the fire department to get there.”
According to Howard County Police, Heroin-related overdose deaths in the county have more than quadrupled since 2010.
Howard County is also developing a partnership with Aetna to introduce a program Tuesday to put Narcan kits in every county building and train all 2,000 county employees in how to administer it.
The 408 kits, valued at more than $30,000, were installed in every Automated External Defibrillator (AED) box in county-owned buildings.
Overdoses have become so prevalent, authorities aren’t just training law enforcement and county employees. They’re also asking the public to be trained as well, similar to public training in CPR and the use of AEDs.