NORTH HAVEN - Town leaders are again raising the alarm for people to become more aware of opioid addictions and what to do in an overdose.
"Within a matter of minutes we can find somebody deceased," said Paul Januszewski, Chief of the North Haven Fire Department. "There's a very small window of time that we can intervene and provide what's known as Narcan."
Narcan (or naloxone) is an antidote used to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose.
"You can typically tell when you arrive on scene, somebody who has not been breathing for a period of time and the immediate intervention is to start an airway and then start Narcan intervention," said Januszewski.
Since June 1, North Haven EMS and Police responded to at least seven opioid overdoses, the most recent in which a 19-year-old was found unconscious from overdosing on heroin. Narcan saved his life.
"This has become an epidemic in our respective communities," said Michael Freda, First Selectman of New Haven. "I've talked to other mayors and it's the same situation in many cities and towns."
Officials are asking friends and family to be aware of their loved ones habits and know what to do in the event of an overdose. Symptoms to look out for include dizziness, acting "detached", and in emergency cases, tuning a bluish color, fainting, and difficulty breathing.
Narcan is available at some drug stores.
"If you see an overdose taking place and the person is not responding then go ahead and administer the Narcan," said Januszewski. "Buy yourself that period of time until the first responders can get there because we still need to respond, but in the period of time that Narcan is administered, and we or the police department arrive on scene, you could save a life."
This weekend, the North Haven Police Department is allowing people to drop off illegal drugs in its prescription drop-off box in the lobby of the police department. Just place it in a zip-lock or brown paper bag, and deposit it before 9 a.m. Officers will not interact with anyone using the box, and no questions will be asked. For more click here.