County launches overdose remedy program
An overdose drug program for first responders is in the final stages in DeKalb County.
County Board Chairman Jeff Metzger was invited by Congressman Randy Hultgren to attend a roundtable discussion related to drug overdose last March. Metzger had hoped to gain additional knowledge in drug awareness and overdose.
“As the discussion evolved with Congressman Hultrgren, the topic of Narcan was introduced for first responders,” Metzger said. “I was intrigued that there was a drug which could reverse an opiate overdose, and potentially save lives.”
Metzger brought the idea of a Narcan program in DeKalb County to the county board executive committee, which was supportive, and met with the director of the DuPage County Narcan program, one of the first programs in the area.
Metzger met with DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott, DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery, DeKalb County board coordinator Mary Supple and George DeTella of DuPage County to develop a pilot program with the largest populations in DeKalb County. The pilot program will include the sheriff’s office, City of DeKalb Police Department, City of Sycamore Police Department and Northern Illinois University Police Department.
“The cooperation and excitement was inspirational,” Metzger said. “To see all of the entities come together for such a great cause is exactly how government should work.”
Each entity agreed to help finance the Narcan to help expedite the process. The initial cost to run the pilot program is about $6,000. NIU Police, who have already received training in the use of Narcan, will train and certify officers with the other departments at no charge.
“Once the program is up and running, we would like to get the rest of the police forces in DeKalb County involved in the program,” Metzger said.