Pubdate: Sat, 15 Jun 2013
Source: Patriot Ledger, The  (Quincy, MA)
Copyright: 2013 GateHouse Media, Inc.
Author: Christian Schiavone


QUINCY - One was an 18-year-old dumped in a snowbank near Quincy 
Medical Center in the midst of a heroin overdose.

Another was brought to the Quincy police station near death by a family member.

They are just two of the more than 180 people who have been saved 
thanks to a program to train and equip all Quincy police and Weymouth 
firefighters with the overdose-reversing drug Narcan, according to 
the two departments.

"These numbers are phenomenal," said Detective Lt. Patrick Glynn, who 
heads the Quincy police drug unit. "That officer represents an option of life."

Glynn spoke during a conference held Friday to highlight efforts by 
the city and neighboring communities, including Weymouth, to combat 
drug abuse. The conference was hosted by Impact Quincy, a program of 
the nonprofit Bay State Community Services.

In 2010, Quincy became the first municipal police department in the 
country to train all of its officers to use Narcan, which is a brand 
name for the drug naloxone. Since then, officers have used it 163 
times to successfully revive overdose victims.

The city's program was praised in the the White House's 2013 National 
Drug Policy Strategy report released in April.

Following Quincy's example, Weymouth firefighters began carrying 
Narcan in March.

So far, they have successfully used it 20 times, Firefighter Brad 
Flannery said.

"We've already had 20 instances where we brought people back from the 
brink of death," he said. "We're solving a small piece of a very 
large problem in our town."

Quincy police and Weymouth firefighters use a nasal-spray form of the 
drug. The youngest person to be administered the drug was 15 in 
Quincy and 18 in Weymouth. The oldest was 67 in both communities.

The Weymouth Fire Department has also applied for a $6,800 grant to 
implement a system to connect families of drug addicts with support 
services. The system would include a hotline, a website and 
pamphlets, Flannery said.

The department will find out whether it will receive the grant next week.

There were 53 overdose deaths in Norfolk County in 2012, up from 52 
the year before, according to the district attorney's office. There 
have been 24 so far this year.
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