The Holly Springs Police Department is the first and only law enforcement agency in Georgia to carry Naloxone, a drug that stops someone from overdosing on Opiates, and just a few days after officers were trained on the drug; they saved their first life using it.
Sergeant Nathan Ernst responded to a medical call at 8:40 a.m. Wednesday morning. When he arrived at the home he saw something he immediately recognized as a drug overdose. Then Ernst said the victim's parents told him the woman in her 20's overdosed on opiates.
"She was laying on the ground actively having a seizure, unconscious," Ernst said.
On June 4, Ernst said they were trained on how to administer Naloxone. After that, all 25 officers in the Holly Springs Police Department were given the medicine to put in their cruisers. Being the first person to use Naloxone in Georgia, and to be the first agency to have it makes Ernst proud.
"It feels good, we saved her life," Ernst said. "I would agree everyone should carry this, all law enforcement and fire should have this in their bags."
The effort to get Naloxone in cruisers was spearheaded by Lt. Tanya Smith. Her daughter overdosed last year and her friends allegedly left her to die.
"Whatever stupid decision that you make, don't do that, call us," Smith told CBS46 News. "We'll get there. We'll do what we can. We'll give them a second chance, and then you walk away."
Smith's 20-year-old daughter, Taylor, was found dead on the side of a road in Jasper County in August of 2013. Smith said Taylor had an asthma attack after overdosing on methamphetamine. She said her daughter's friends panicked and then dumped her body on the roadside.
"Given what I've heard about her case, that she lay there for a couple of hours, that could have been used to save her life," said Smith.
On April 24, Governor Nathan Deal passed the 911 amnesty law. It allows a person to call for help when someone has overdosed without fear of being arrested. It also clears the way for officers to administer the anti-overdose medication.
"We are glad we can take that first step, and start reversing that overdose," Ernst said. "There is nothing like telling a parent that her child is never coming home. That they didn't make it. That they overdosed. Now, we have the ability to hopefully prevent that and to give that person a chance to fight that addiction and get better on their own."
Ernst said he didn't think he would have to use the medicine so soon.
"It could happen to anybody," Ernst said. "In this case, we happened to have it at the right time and hopefully it made a positive difference."
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