When the call comes in for an opiate overdose, Akron Fire District Chief Joseph Natko said paramedics drop everything and respond as fast as they can. But four to six minutes can pass from the time someone dials the phone to when a paramedic treats the patient.
When people overdose, Natko said they can seem intoxicated or unresponsive. And sometimes, they stop breathing.
“If they’re not breathing, they’re dying,” Natko said.
If the patient or someone close to them has the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, commonly known by the brand name Narcan, the patient could receive a life-saving dose sooner than waiting for paramedics, Natko said.
“If they have the Narcan in hand, maybe they can change the outcome,” Natko said.