“Equipping our deputies with Naloxone provides a valuable tool to deal with the opioid and heroin epidemic” according to Sheriff’s Police Services Commander Marlene Radzik. “The faces of those suffering from substance use disorder are growing.” Our deputies have saved 124 lives thus far, giving these people suffering from addiction another chance at life. They have given their families another day with their loved ones. The next steps for a better life are up to the individual suffering from substance use disorder, but at least they have an opportunity for that next step, thanks to our deputies.”
The WCSO partnered with Home of New Vision and University of Michigan School of Nursing to create a training video for administering Naloxone for opioid overdoses. The training video is made for other law enforcement agencies in an effort to get as many officers trained as possible in a short amount of time. This whole process has been made possible by a grant funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) Translation Award.
Previously, Sheriff Jerry Clayton, along with Washtenaw County Public Health and the County Board of Commissioners, worked with legislators in Lansing to pass legislation that would enable law enforcement officers to carry Naloxone. “Heroin addiction has reached epidemic levels across the country and here in Washtenaw County. While the use of Naloxone is only one way to address such a challenging problem, it can save lives; many of them young people. If they are willing to commit to the hard work required to treat the addiction, Naloxone can give individuals who suffer from heroin addiction a chance to recover, change their lives and be productive members of the community. As Commander Radzik noted, those suffering from addiction are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. I am very pleased and proud that our staff have utilized their training and have this ‘tool in their toolbox’ that has saved so many lives in Washtenaw County.”