HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– A heroin bust in Hartford has brought attention to a miracle drug that can reverse a heroin overdose.
Hartford Police recently confiscated 2,000 bags of heroin laced with the pain killer Fentanyl. The bags were stamped with street marketing names like ‘Shine,’ ‘New World,’ and ‘Bingo Nine.’
But it was not all necessarily destined for inner city addicts. The State Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services says they’ve seen a moderate spread of the use of these drugs away from the cities.
It is especially prevalent among 18 to 25 year-olds.
“Glastonbury, out toward Ridgefield, small communities that are struggling with this,” said Commissioner Patricia Rehmer.
The state is now pushing for wider distribution the prescription drug Naloxene, or Narcan, that can miraculously reverse a heroin or fentanyl overdose.
The drug is easily administered by an inhaler or epipen injection.
“It immediately stops the effects of the opioid, whether it’s a pain reliever or heroin and essentially if somebody is experiencing an overdose, they will wake up,” Rehmer said.
It is currently only in use by EMT’s or paramedics.
“Every Hartford cop has been on a scene of an overdose at some point where you essentially see somebody comoing back from the dead,” said Lieutenant Brian Foley.”You’re looking at a dead person, you give them the Narcan and they sit right up like nothing ever happened.”
Current law allows a family member or friend to get a prescription for it if they fear someone is using heroin or similar drugs.
The General Assembly is now considering a law that would give immunity to anyone that administers the life-saving antidote so that it can be distributed to all first responders.
“It certainly saves lives and that’s why we’re trying to get it out there and into the hands of everyone that we can,” Rehmer said.
Rehmer also reminds those using the drug for a friend or relative to still call 9-1-1 following an overdose.