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Dougherty Co. Emergency Services helps the fight against opioids

Published: Oct. 30, 2021 at 11:29 AM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County Emergency Services says drug take-back programs are important in their fight against the opioid crisis. They say keeping the powerful pills off South Georgia streets is vital to saving lives.

Sam Allen is the Director of Emergency Services in Dougherty County. He says his staff has seen one too many drug overdoses and too often they are treating the same people over and over.

EMS sometimes gets called to treat the same person multiple times for the same reason, drug addiction. Their hope is to provide resources the help lower the rate of addiction.

Sam Allen- Director of Dougherty County Emergency Services
Sam Allen- Director of Dougherty County Emergency Services(WALB)

“The first step is to getting that person to realize the danger that they keep traveling down. They may not travel down this road because, at some point, death will be there. So if we can get that person off of the street, get them into a rehab facility, get them into treatment that hopefully, we won’t have to continue to go there,” said Allen.

EMS wants you to know if you witness someone using illegal drugs that result in an overdose, don’t be afraid to call for help. Because you are protected by law.

“Georgia has an amnesty law that if you call 911 when the law enforcement gets there and the paramedics get there during part of the investigation, as long as you have provided help for that person that was using the illegal drugs. It’s our understanding that that person would not be charged under the Georgia amnesty law,” said Allen.

Dougherty County Emergency Services helps the fight against opioids
Dougherty County Emergency Services helps the fight against opioids(WALB)

A common drug used to save a lot of victims of overdose is Narcan. But it isn’t always effective.

“Narcan won’t work on other types of drugs. It has to be and opioid-based for Narcan to have an effect,” said Allen.

That’s why Dougherty County EMS officials say these drug-take-back programs are vital. To keep as many prescription drugs out of the hands of addicts as possible.

Dougherty County EMS officials say they have used 162 packs of Narcan since December 7. The drug has been helpful in reviving overdose patients.

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