Wise County deputies to carry opioid antidote Naloxone


Wise County deputies will begin carrying the opioid antidote Naloxone, also known as Narcan.

"We are battling an epidemic of Opioid drug addiction in Southwest Virginia and we have to take drastic measures to make sure we address the drug problem with everything available to us," Wise County Sheriff Ronnie Oakes said. "I think that it is important that we make a valiant effort to give individuals a fighting chance at recovery, Deputies responding to overdose calls are now trained in administering the nasal Narcan. It has affected our communities, children and families and we have to give them some hope for a brighter future."

Prescription opioid abuse has been by far the biggest drug problem faced in Wise County recently. Since the release of Oxycontin in 1996, police have seen a drastic increase in drug-related crimes and abuse of opioids.

The Wise County Sheriff's Office recently joined the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI) program which works with law enforcement and service providers that share recovery resources throughout the United States. The program recently received donations from their partners that help distribute Naloxone (Narcan) to law enforcement agencies.

The sheriff's office also received a community grand from the Walmart Foundation for $1,250 to resupply Naloxone administered by authorities responding to overdoses.

"Each box containing two doses of Narcan cost around $143.00," Sheriff Oakes explained. "Our budget does not provide for purchase and replacement costs. These donations from PAARI and Walmart make this effort possible. We are grateful to them for their generosity."

Officials are also asking for assistance from the community by keeping unwanted and unused medications out of the hands of those abusing medications as well as children. The Wise County Sheriff's Office is providing free medication disposal system packets as well as a secure drop box in the main lobby at the Wise County Justice Center at 5605 Patriot Drive in Wise, Va. Call 276-328-3566 if you have any questions concerning the drop off location.

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