Niles man saved by medicine designed to block heroin overdose

Published 9:09 am Thursday, March 24, 2016

The life of a Niles Township man was saved Tuesday through the use of a medicine designed to block the effects of a narcotics overdose.

Berrien County Sheriff’s Department deputies recently began carrying Naloxone Hydrochloride, also called Narcan, in an effort to deal with the state’s growing opioid and heroin epidemic.

On Tuesday, Berrien County deputies and a Michigan State Police trooper were dispatched to a residence in Niles Township in regards to a 40-year-old male who was unresponsive from a suspected narcotic overdose.

Upon arrival, officers found a citizen attempting to perform CPR on the male. The officers took over the life-saving efforts and administered Narcan to the individual, who regained his pulse and began breathing.

The individual was taken to Lakeland Hospital for treatment.

Capt. Robert Boyce, of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, said the person survived the incident.

“It is very gratifying to the deputies that administered it and for me as a supervisor I am extremely proud of them,” Boyc said. “I could not be more happy that we saved these individuals lives and gave them a second chance with their loved ones. Hopefully they will take the next steps for a better life.”

This is the third time that Narcan has been used successfully to revive individuals suspected of overdosing on narcotics in Berrien County since deputies began carrying Narcan in December.

A 47-year-old female was revived in St. Joseph Township on Tuesday and a 35-year-old male was revived in Sodus Township March 9. Both people survived.

The sheriff’s department received the Narcan kits from Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health through a grant.

“To me it is a valuable tool for the community and law enforcement first responders,” Boyce said.