Gloucester Sheriff’s Office announces deployment of naloxone auto-injectors to fight opioid overdose deaths

Posted at 7:02 PM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 19:02:38-04

GLOUCESTER, Va. – The Gloucester Sheriff’s Office announced they have received a donation of EVZIO naloxone auto-injectors from Richmond-based pharmaceutical company kaléo Monday.

EVZIO is an FDA-approved naloxone product that is specifically made for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose as made evident by respiratory and/or central nervous system depression. It is intended for immediate administration as emergency therapy in settings where opioids may be present, especially outside of supervised medical settings.

Naloxone is a medication that blocks or reverses the effects of opioid medication, which may include extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing and/or loss of consciousness. It must be injected into a muscle, under the skin or into a vein through an IV.

On July 19, Gloucester County Deputy Jim DeBaun received training on the use of naloxone and used it while on the job just one day later. DeBaun was dispatched to the scene of an unresponsive male who had overdosed and administered the subject two injections of naloxone. The subject later recovered at a local emergency room.

EVZIO is a pre-filled, single-use, hand-held auto-injector that works by temporarily blocking the effect of an opioid. It has the potential to revere the life-threatening respiratory depression and allow the recipient to breathe more regularly.

Each device uses voice and visual cues to assist in guiding the user through the process of delivering a single 0.4 mg dose of naloxone. However, it is not a substitute for emergency medical care.

An opioid is a class of drugs that act on receptors of the body to reduce pain. The illegal drug heroin, the synthetic fentanyl and prescription pain relievers are all examples of opioids.

Due to their morphine-like effects that produce a sense of euphoria, opioids – even those that are given out as a prescription – are often abused. They are generally safe when taken by a short time, but regular use can lead to dependence.

In 2014, nearly 29,000 Americans died from prescription opioid overdose and unintended drug poisoning; this has surpassed automobile collisions as the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States.

Click here for more information on opioid addiction and how to get help.

Related links:

Attorney General talks Hampton Roads opioid problem

Chesapeake-based healthcare system using new tool to help Virginia’s opioid fight

Virginia Health Department holds opioid crisis summit