United States

Camden County Police Save 200 People from Drug Overdose Using Naloxone

The 200th save was made Tuesday night

Two hundred people have been brought back from the brink of death by the men and women in the Camden County Metro Police Department using the overdose reversal drug naloxone, the department announced this week.

The 200th save was made Tuesday night by Officer Michael Treadway. When Treadway came upon the victim at 4th and York streets, the man was barely breathing, police said.

A quick shot of naloxone, commonly known by its commercial name of Narcan, had the man awake and responsive by the time he was wheeled into Cooper University Hospital's emergency room, police said.

It's a common story for those saved by the drug which is typically delivered through a nasal spray.

A woman holds up a tube of Naloxone Hydrochloride, also known as Narcan -- a nasal spray used as an antidote for opiate drug overdoses.

This spring, NBC10 profiled Camden police's lifesaving use of the drug as part of Generation Addicted, an in-depth investigation into the area's deadly heroin and opioid epidemic.

In the special presentation, Officer Tyrell Bagby explained how he saved more than a dozen lives in a short two years on the force.

"I have one of those great chances to say I haven't taken a life, I've saved 16 lives," he said.

Tyrell Bagby

The opioid epidemic continues to explode in the region and across the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 47,000 died from drug overdoses last year and half were from opioids -- that's heroin, fentanyl and prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet.

So far this year in Camden, 21 people died by drug overdose, city officials said. That's already half of the number of people who died last year.

Two-thirds of the 195 people who overdosed in Camden this year did not live in the city, officials said.

Camden County police deployed naloxone in May 2014. The department and county have since begun offering those who've been saved by naloxone the immediate chance to go into a 30 day drug treatment. The program called Operation SAL (Save a Life) is named after Sal DiRenzo, a Blackwood man who died of a drug overdose in 2010.

His mother, Patty, and sister, Blake, also shared his story in Generation Addicted.

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