Box Elder police officer saves drug overdose victim

BOX ELDER, S.D. (KOTA TV) - A sergeant with the Box Elder Police Department saved an opiate overdose victim Tuesday afternoon, according to a release from the department.

Sgt. Joshua Campbell administered a dose of Naloxone (Narcan) nasal spray to the 25-year-old man who was found unresponsive in a home on South Ellsworth Road. Within a few minutes, the overdose victim’s breathing stabilized.

First responders from the Box Elder Volunteer Fire Department and paramedics from the Rapid City Fire Department arrived shortly thereafter. The victim was taken to Rapid City Regional and remains hospitalized. The cause of the overdose is not known.

Police say they will not release the victim’s identity.

Box Elder police officers have been carrying Naloxone for about a year. Supplies were obtained through South Dakota’s Naloxone Project, a cooperative effort of the South Dakota Department of Health and the Department of Social Services. Naloxone is carried by duty officers in addition to the AEDs and tactical medical equipment in patrol units.

Opiate overdoses like this one are characterized by combinations of slow or absent breathing, snoring and gurgling, gray or blue lips and fingers. Small or pinpoint pupils unresponsive to light are particularly good indicators.

Naloxone nasal sprays are inexpensive to purchase, easy to use, with no risk to the patient even if incorrectly administered. Citizens who suspect an opiate overdose should call 911 immediately and prepare to perform CPR if safe to do so.