Tuesday, 10 October 2017 17:24

Rising use of narcan Featured

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BANGOR - The use of narcan by Bangor area first responders has been increasing drastically during the past couple of years.

At the same time, numbers from one local recovery center show more people trying to kick drugs.

 

Ambulance crews have used narcan to revive people in the throes of drug overdoses for more than 20 years.

 

"It's just in the last few years, with the dramatic spike in narcan use and in overdoses that it's really come to the forefront," said Bangor Fire Department Captain Greg Hodge, who overseas the emergency medical services division.

 

In fact, the number of times it's been used by Bangor E.M.T.s has increased by nearly 200 percent during the past two years. It should be stressed, Bangor's numbers only reflect the number of times  E.M.T.s administered the drug. The Bangor Police Department also administers it, but those numbers weren't available.

 

And first responders said, an increase in the number of overdoses is a sure sign there's a new batch of heroin in town.

 

During an interview Tuesday morning, Hodge said, "What we see is narcan use and overdoses spike for one to two days, upwards of ten to twelve in a day. Sometimes even more."

 

While the numbers may not be as high across the river in Brewer, it's on the rise there as well. "I would say it started as a slight increase and on occasion we see spikes in usage," said Brewer Fire Department Lt. Erik Tourtillotte.

 

Some people question whether the availability of narcan may spur addicts to push the envelope.

 

"I've talked to many people who have overdosed and been narcanned. And not one has ever said to me, 'well, I done it because I knew if I overdosed narcan would save me,'" said Sharon Field-Fickett, volunteer coordinator at the Bangor

Area Recovery Network. She also said, society owes addicts narcan just like diabetics are owed insulin.

 

TJ Tremble

Reporter
[email protected]

T.J. Tremble joined WVII ABC 7 and WFVX FOX 22 in March 2016.

He was raised in Bangor, attended Bangor schools and graduated from John Bapst High School. He attended the University of Maine, studying political science.

He started his news career at the Camden Herald, many years ago. He also worked for the Bangor Daily News in Rockland, Belfast and Bangor.

He entered broadcast journalism as news director for WQCB-FM, Brewer. For Many years he worked behind the scenes in radio and television.

Recently, he worked as a news reporter for Zone Radio Corporation in Bangor [WZON-AM, WKIT-FM and WZLO-FM.

He has received reporting awards from the Maine Press Association, Maine Association of Broadcasters and the Maine Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

He is married, with three adult children and two grandchildren.