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Saratoga County deputies to get people into treatment straight from heroin overdoses

CBS 6 is committed to tackling the opioid crisis. You'll be seeing stories on the epidemic right here every Monday.

This week CBS 6's Anne McCloy learned why those struggling with addiction shouldn't be afraid to call 911 if they're using with someone who overdoses.

If you're using heroin, you may be afraid to call the police, but if you or someone you know is overdosing, you can't be arrested, if you call for help.

“There's something called the Good Samaritan Laws. The law protects you from being prosecuted in most situations,” said Capt. Dan Morely.

A new program within the Saratoga County Sheriff's Office is going a step further to help on overdose calls.

“You would place this in their nostril and then dispense it,” Morely said.

A number of deputies on every shift are trained to administer the opioid reversal drug Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan.

“You would wait 2-3 minutes and hope the person comes out of the overdose and if they don’t you would put the other dispenser in the other nostril and hopefully they’d come out at that point,” Morely said.

But what makes the program really standout, Capt. Morely says after saving the patient, deputies immediately try to get them into treatment.

“Literally just come out and tell you, you're a person, we're glad you're OK and there's help available for you if you'd like it,” Morely said.

In that moment of crisis, deputies also try to get resources to the patient's family.

“Quite literally the families are in the cyclone with the person who has the substance use disorder and may have no idea what to do,” Morely said.

While the program is relatively new, Morely says deputies have already helped on 64 calls in just 10 months.

“If you can help somebody at that point in time where they're willing to listen to you, you may have made it through the window,” Morely said.

Deputies also train civilians who would like to learn how to administer Narcan, and have Narcan available for free for those who need it.

The department commonly works with Healing Springs Recovery Center in Saratoga Springs and their program called GRASP which helps people with loved ones who've died from heroin addiction.

A more detailed list of resources is posted at cbs6albany.com under Dose of Reality.

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