• Some first responders argue Narcan gives opiate users false sense of security

    Updated:

    NEW CASTLE, Pa. - Dealing with daily overdose calls much like so many other local communities, New Castle officials have used the opiate antidote, Narcan, to bring back several people as recently as overnight Tuesday.

    Police told Channel 11 that paramedics revived a man barely breathing Tuesday night with the life-saving drug. Officers said after one shot of Narcan, the man, who was found unconscious inside an apartment building on East Washington Street, was able to walk to an ambulance on his own. 


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    “We have one of these packages on our truck at all times,” New Castle Assistant Fire Chief Mike Kobbe said.

    New Castle firefighters were recently approved to carry Narcan, and were supplied with it just this week. 

    “Yes, it does save lives and that's what we’re all about,” Kobbe said.

    However, some argue that Narcan is giving users a false sense of security and invincibility, making them believe that when they overdose, they'll be brought back.

     Kobbe admitted that they have seen repeat offenders, having been called back to some locations more than once a day.

    Last week, the City of Butler had six overdoses in one day. In many of the cases, paramedics had to use two and three vials of Narcan to revive the users. 

    “It's like a double dog dare you. They keep pushing the limits, knowing we’ll be there to bring them back,” Butler Mayor Tom Donaldson said.

    Some officials said they believe there's no more fear in overdosing. In fact, several paramedics told Channel 11 that in most cases, the victim comes to mad and combative.

    Kobbe said in the cases he’s seen not one of the people revived has thanked his firefighters for saving his or hers life.

    Anyone seeking resources on drug use can visit the links below: 

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