Forest Co. sheriff touts importance of naloxone

Forest County recently saw it’s first case of naloxone use to save a life.

Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, is a medication used to negate the effects of opioids, particularly during an overdose.

Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Hawk was on the scene a few weeks ago when a member of Tionesta Ambulance Service administered the medicine in the form of a nasal spray.

“The female patient was unconscious and turning blue in the face when Narcan was administered,” Hawk said. “Right around a minute afterwards, the patient came to. She was conscious, breathing and talking to all of us.”

Sheriff Robert Wolfgang said his department also carries Narcan in case one of his officers is accidentally exposed to an overdose.

“All first responders have a danger of touching something out there that’s going to put them into an OD,” Wolfgang said. “That was my biggest reason.”

Not all law enforcement departments carry Narcan, with some critics arguing it isn’t a worthwhile use of funds. Wolfgang said he and his officers debated the pros and cons and decided in favor of it primarily for the safety of the officers.

“I think it’s very worthwhile,” Wolfgang said. “We’re not going to step over the bad guy out there either. We’re going to save him. If it is an individual that’s doing drugs, we might be able to turn him around.”