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Santa Barbara police officer saves woman’s life with Narcan just one week after training

The Santa Barbara Police Department says Narcan saved a woman’s life Tuesday, just a week after the department finished training on how to use the opioid overdose prevention spray.

Police say it happened around 7:25 a.m. Tuesday in the 1000 block of Miramonte Drive.

Officers received a 911 call that a woman was having a medical emergency. An officer arrived at the scene and found a 28-year-old woman in the street near the curb. She was unconscious and having trouble breathing.

The officer says recent training led her to believe the woman had overdosed, so she radioed for medics and grabbed a vial of Narcan. She gave the nasal spray to the woman who came to briefly, but then lost consciousness again. The officer gave a second dose of the spray and medics later arrived on scene.

The woman was taken to Cottage Hospital, and she’s expected to be okay.

Santa Barbara Police Public Engagement Officer Anthony Wagner said, and it is directly because of the Narcan being administered immediately that the woman’s life is saved.”

The police department just partnered with the County Behavioral Wellness Department, Alcohol and Drug Program, and Pacific Pride Foundation’s Health and Prevention Program in August to acquire enough of the life-saving spray for all of its officers.

Right now they have about 148 doses and are planning to get more from regional medical sources. Funding for the Narcan is currently not in the department’s budget.

Each box has two doses. Wagner says generally one application is enough to wake up someone who is under the influence of opioids (oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine or heroin) and unresponsive. In three or four minutes. “If that does not work you do another vial,” he said.

Officers had just completed state mandated training to use the medication, last week.

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