2 people die of overdoses every day in Washington state.
Pennsylvania is on pace for 1200 opioid overdose deaths this year.
550 deaths last year in South Carolina.
AND Georgia ranks 11th in the nation in number of overdoses.
The problem hits closer to home every day, including twice in Port Wentworth in the past week.
“What else have you taken?”
“Crystal meth, marijuana, cocaine..”
“Do you think you need EMS?”
“I’m trying not to throw up.”
You can see and hear it on Port Wentworth police body camera, Dalton Kennedy admitting to an officer he is on drugs..
But during the first half of that video, he is coherent.. talking, and under arrest.
But just minutes later his eyes roll back in his head.. he is overdosing..
“Look at me..you gotta open your eyes,” officers say to Kennedy. “Hey, wake up.”
The situation turns dangerous.. and a Port Wentworth firefighter gets the latest tool in his belt..
“Hey go get your Narcan,” the officers tells the firefighter.
Port Wentworth fire and police had just trained with Narcan or Nalaxone, the overdose fighting drug, a few months ago. On this day they will use it to potentially save Kennedy’s life.
“Is she normally this cool? She’s still breathing., so grab her legs and turn her on her side in case she vomits.”
The same week, Officer Michael Gonzales is called to a home for another opioid overdose.
“You could see the mom is distraught,” Officer Michael Gonzales remembers as he watches the body camera. “I’m a father myself so i can feel what she is going through.”
‘When you first started getting the training you think oh i’m not a paramedic, i’m not a doctor I don’t want to give this person some sort of medication.”
“It’s awesome, it fits in your pocket and you hardly ever notice it until you need it
“Its an amazing tool it literally flips a switch where she is barely breathing one minute the next she is talking to me. Its amazing to see it right there in front of you.”
In this case it takes two doses to get her from barely breathing to alert.
“C’mon wake up and talk to me… c’mon.. there you go.”
“For an officer to go to the scene for a firefighter to go to the scene, and not be able to do nothing, its not in our nature,” explains Major Lee Sherrod of the Port Wentworth Police Department. “We join this to save lives or to help people when we have a chance.”
“its what we do,” says Gonzales. “We aren’t just here to put people in jail to write tickets, its part of the job its how we keep people safe.”
“Being able to help and see the results so quickly it makes you want to come back to work.”
The young woman in that video was only 24 years old.
She was taken to the hospital for treatment..
Dalton Kennedy was also treated and released..
He was doing so much better he was actually arrested for another crime just days later.