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Addiction in Franklin County

Narcan saves two in two days in Deerfield

DEERFIELD — Narcan has saved two lives in two days in Deerfield, bringing two young women back from what police say were potentially fatal heroin overdoses.

A 24-year-old Vermont woman collapsed from an overdose in the parking lot of Neighbors Convenience Store on Route 116 on Monday evening.

“She’s awake and talking,” said said Deerfield Police Sgt. Michael Krusiewski. “She was out. We were doing CPR on her.”

Krusiewski said the woman was travelling with her step-father and told him she didn’t feel well and had to use the bathroom.

“So she went in there — did it in there and went down in the parking lot,” he said.

Krusiewski said someone called 911 from the store to report the woman in the parking lot not breathing. “She got lucky. A doctor happened to be at the store so they started CPR on her.” A nurse and a state trooper driving home pulled in next. The ambulance crew that arrived to transport her to Baystate Franklin Medical Center gave her the opiate overdose antidote Narcan, or naloxone hydrochloride, bringing her back to consciousness.

On Sunday, Deerfield police logged a report of an overdose at a River Road address, where a 30-year-old Deerfield woman was found in bed barely breathing. A friend resuscitated her with Narcan. Both women had been released from jail last week, according to the log. Recently released drug users are at particular risk for overdoses due to reduced tolerances to their drug of choice after a period of enforced sobriety.

Narcan is available free to the general public, to anyone who thinks they may witness an overdose, in nasal spray doses through a Department of Public Health pilot program. Many area public safety agencies are moving toward issuing Narcan to police and firefighters in the face of the growing heroin problem, labeled a public health emergency by the governor in March after a winter that saw a spike in deaths.

A brief training is required to receive Narcan through the state program. The training and doses are available by appointment from Tapestry Health’s Greenfield office at 80 Sanderson St.

To schedule an appointment, call Tapestry Health at 413-773-8888.

I was there when the woman collapsed and I yelled for them to call ambulance. What a scary thing. I am glad she is recovered and hope she has learned a lesson. It was lucky for her that the doctor stopped to help because we didn't know what to do for her. I wish I knew the doctors name as she was incredible. There was also a man who had been pumping gas and he was helping her for quite a while until ambulance crew showed up. There are some really good Samaritans out there.

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