Dougherty Co. emergency services help fight opioids

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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – Dougherty County Emergency Services say drug take-back programs are important in their fight against the opioid crisis. They say keeping the potent pills off the streets of South Georgia is essential to saving lives.

Sam Allen is the director of emergency services for Dougherty County. He says his staff have witnessed an overdose of too many drugs and too often treat the same people over and over again.

EMS are sometimes called upon to treat the same person multiple times for the same reason, drug addiction. Their hope is to provide resources to help reduce the addiction rate.

Sam Allen – Director of Emergency Services for Dougherty County(WALB)

“The first step is to make this person aware of the danger that they continue to descend. They may not take this road because at some point death will be there. So if we can get that person off the streets, get them into a rehab center, get them for treatment that hopefully we won’t have to keep going, ”Allen said.

EMS wants you to know if you witness illegal drug overdose use, don’t be afraid to call for help. Because you are protected by law.

“Georgia has an amnesty law that says if you call 911 when law enforcement arrives and paramedics arrive during part of the investigation, as long as you provide help this person who used illegal drugs. We understand that this person would not be charged under Georgian Amnesty Law, ”Allen said.

Dougherty County Emergency Services Help Fight Opioids
Dougherty County Emergency Services Help Fight Opioids(WALB)

Narcan is a drug commonly used to save many overdose victims. But this is not always effective.

“Narcan will not work on other types of drugs. It has to be opioid-based for Narcan to have an effect, ”Allen said.

That’s why Dougherty County EMS officials say these drug take-back programs are vital. To keep as many prescription drugs out of the hands of addicts as possible.

Dougherty County emergency medical officials said they had used 162 packages from Narcan since December 7. The drug has been helpful in reviving overdose patients.

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