An automatic injector called EVZIO is used to deliver the anti-opiate drug naloxone. – Mick Zawislak
Just after the New Year began, Deerfield police were noted as being the first department in Lake County to successfully use an anti-opiate drug to save the life of a heroin overdose victim.
The save actually had occurred a week earlier, on Christmas Day 2014. But even though the news was late getting out, the use of the naloxone by many departments became commonplace as police in 32 communities were trained and equipped with the antidote.
To start the program, the Lake County Health Department helped secure a donation of the anti-opiate worth about $1.4 million from Virginia-based kaleo Inc.
In September, officials recognized a second donation by kaleo of 3,000 hand-held automatic injectors to be used by police officers, who often are first on the scene of an overdose. The donation was worth an estimated $1.5 million. Officials at the time estimated 33 lives had been saved.
The Lake County Opioid Initiative, which began more than two years ago, also emphasizes treatment and education, combined with aggressive prosecution of drug dealers.