There’s an opioid overdose problem in this country, and it’s being fought with naloxone, better known as NARCAN. The drug reverses the effects of a drug overdose, more or less waking them up. Drug abusers are even getting their hands on narcotics in jail, so Chief Deputy Greg Pflieger tells us Corrections Officers in Oneida County Correctional Facility are equipping themselves with NARCAN.
"It’s very frightening when you see somebody that’s basically dead. In full cardiac arrest and everything from overdosing, and then when you administer this and 3-4 minutes later they’re kicking and screaming. It’s a miracle really how it works."
The drug works great, but many of you are probably wondering how inmates are able to get their hands on the drugs in the first place, especially since the inmates are being watched so closely.
"Inmates are very creative in where they secrete this contraband, and we try to stay one step ahead of them but it’s virtually impossible to catch all contraband that comes in a correctional facility, despite the efforts of my staff."
Inmates typically get their drugs from new admissions, visitors, and through the mail, even though the mail is screened by Corrections Officers. Chief Deputy Pflieger tells us the NARCAN isn’t just for the inmates.
"We actually have NARCAN in certain locations of the jail for those officers that are opening the mail, in case they should accidentally overdose while opening the mail and getting some of this fentanyl wherever on their skin. Absorbing it through their skin and possibly causing a tragic situation."
Corrections Officers had to distribute NARCAN 28 times last year, but this year they’ve only had 4 cases so far. The numbers inside the jail appear to be going down, but the momentum on the outside doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
"This opioid crisis seems to be going on longer and longer. The different types of people that are exposed to it is a broad range of people. All the way from High School students to the elderly."
All personnel at the jail have been trained to use NARCAN, and all have access to it in the event of an overdose.