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Life-saving drug reverses the effects of an opioid overdose

JOLIET – Will County Sheriff’s deputies were trained to administer naloxone, a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, on Thursday, April 23. Naloxone is sold under the brand name Narcan.

The training is part of the Will County HELPS (Heroin Education Leads to Preventative Solutions) initiative in the office of Will County Executive Larry Walsh.

“I applaud our Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley for making the decision to train all his deputies on the use of this powerful antidote,” Walsh said. “Our deputies cover all parts of Will County and making Narcan available is an important resource for them.”

Through the Will County Narcan Distribution Program, law enforcement officers across the county have been taught the effects of opioids, how to recognize a person in an overdose situation, and the safe administration of naloxone. The training of the 162 deputies was delivered by Jeff Jerz, a training instructor in the sheriff’s department.

“Jeff has gone to great lengths in his research and preparation for this training,” said Kelley. “I am proud to enable our deputies to carry this antidote which will help save lives in Will County.”

Will County Coroner Pat O’Neil donated $1,000 to help fund the initial purchase of naloxone and the nasal atomizers for the deputies. He said he sees the benefits of training these officers.

“Our $1,000 donation equals the cost of one autopsy,” O’Neil said. “This donation will help equip 20 officers with this lifesaving drug so I see this as a very worthy investment.”

The Hero Group, founded by John Roberts and Brian Kirk in response to losing their sons to heroin overdose, made a $2,500 contribution to the sheriff’s department. Kirk said he is happy the sheriff’s department will have this powerful antidote.

“I don’t want anyone to have to experience what my family has in the loss of our son,” Kirk said. “Having law enforcement personnel all across the county trained to administer Narcan will save lives. I commend Will County Executive Larry Walsh for offering this training and Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley for participating.”