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This widely available overdose drug just saved another local man’s life

Naloxone, sold under the brandname Narcan among others, can be used to save the life of a person who has overdosed from opioids.
Naloxone, sold under the brandname Narcan among others, can be used to save the life of a person who has overdosed from opioids.

A Santa Barbara County deputy saved the life of an overdose victim early Thursday morning by using an opioid counteracting drug that is publicly and widely available in San Luis Obispo County.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an unconscious man not breathing in the 6100 block of Verdura Avenue in Goleta. Deputies arrived prior to emergency medical personnel and found the man breathing but unconscious.

“Believing the symptoms were signs of an overdose, one deputy administered a single dose of his issued intranasal naloxone and within a few seconds the male was conscious and breathing normally,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kelly Hoover wrote in a statement.

In 2016, San Luis Obispo County recorded 36 opioid overdose deaths.

Opioid overdoses can be fatal because they can cause the victim to become unable to breathe. Naloxone, often packaged under the brand name Narcan, counteracts opioid overdoses by kicking opioids out of their brain receptors.

In November 2015, San Luis Obispo resident Ryan Hillmer was saved from a fatal heroin overdose when hospital officials administered Narcan. Hillmer told The Tribune that Narcan gave him another chance to get clean, and he is now nine months sober.

Naloxone is available without a prescription at the following locations:

▪ CVS SLO, 11990 Los Osos Valley Road

▪ CVS Arroyo Grande, 1435 E. Grand Ave.

▪ CVS Nipomo, 610 W. Tefft St.

▪ CVS Paso Robles, 187 Niblick Road.

▪ Cayucos Pharmacy, 72 S. Ocean Ave.

▪ En Soleil Pharmacy in Atascadero, 5735 El Camino Real.

It’s available for free at SLO Bangers Syringe Exchange, 2191 Johnson Ave. in SLO.

It’s also available with a prescription, which can be obtained at the County of San Luis Obispo Drug and Alcohol Services, at any CVS or Rite Aid pharmacy in SLO County.

Andrew Sheeler: 805-781-7929, @andrewsheeler

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