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Tue March 25, 2014

The life-saving value of the DuPage Narcan Program (DNP) was recently illustrated by a DuPage County Sheriff's Deputy who saved the life of a county resident who was overdosing on heroin.

On Saturday, March 22, the collaborative efforts of the DNP paid off for one resident. Sheriff's deputies responded to a call for help from a sick person in unincorporated Villa Park around 1:20 a.m. The deputy who arrived on the scene had already been trained and was carrying Narcan, which he used to save the life of the 32-year-old woman.

"This is the first case of DNP-issued Narcan saving a life and we expect that trend to continue. More lives will be saved and that is the ultimate goal of this county partnership," said Karen Ayala, Executive Director of the health department. "It is through this kind of community collaboration that we are able to react quickly to pressing public health issues, such as the heroin epidemic," she added.

The DNP was created in response to DuPage County's growing heroin epidemic, with the purpose of saving lives from overdoses. The DNP is a collaborative effort made up of community officials including DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin, DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen, DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin, DuPage County Sheriff John Zaruba, the DuPage County Chiefs of Police Association and the DuPage County Health Department.

Since November, DuPage County law enforcement personnel have been attending training sessions through the DNP program to learn how to recognize people who are overdosing and how to administer Narcan, a non-addictive drug which can reverse a potentially fatal overdose.

By May, there will be more than 1,200 officers in DuPage County trained and armed with the life-saving Narcan. DuPage County is proud to be leading the way in addressing this important health issue with DNP being the first county-wide application of this initiative in the State of Illinois.

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