New Canaan Police Department officers have saved a heroin overdose victim’s life in town, officials said Monday.
It isn’t clear when or where the incident occurred and, citing reasons of privacy, police also withheld details about the victim, such as age, gender and town of residence.
According to a press release issued by Police Chief Leon Krolikowski, officers once dispatched arrived on scene in less than two minutes, determined that the victim recently had used heroin and administered a drug known as ‘Narcan,’ which is designed to reverse an opioid overdose.
“The victim regained consciousness and treatment was taken over by the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps,” Krolikowski said in the release. “The involved officers will be issued a life-saving medical service award.”
The chief recognized Silver Hill Hospital, which in 2014 helped NCPD become one of the first in the county whose patrol officers are trained and equipped with Narcan.
The town in September had its first reported death by heroin overdose—a 25-year-old man who had graduated New Canaan High School in 2009.
Police have found heroin on motorists in New Canaan on several occasions during routine traffic stops in town, as recently as last May (also see here and here), and in 2015 arrested a 24-year-old River Street woman who twice sold heroin to an undercover officer.
After the town saw many young people from here die following heroin overdoses, a cross-community effort that includes the police as well as the school district, Department of Health & Human Services, nonprofit leaders and elected officials has made ridding New Canaan of illegal narcotics such as heroin a priority.
After a well-attended panel last year on opioid use in town, the League of Women Voters of New Canaan and New Canaan Department of Social Services are co-sponsoring an event to be held Wednesday night that is designed to equip parents and families with practical tools for navigating years when young people are likely to experiment with substances. “Building Family Resilience in a World of Booze, Bongs and Benzos” is to be held 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 8 at Town Hall.
According to Krolikowski, nearly 27,000 lives have been saved nationwide by expeditiously administering “Naloxone” or Narcan.
“New Canaan police officers are first responders to all medical emergencies and are able to deliver life-saving treatment within minutes of an emergency call,” he said in the press release. The chief provided this link as a resource regarding substance use.
A counselor-led support group meets weekly at the Congregational Church on Thursdays for parents of kids who are addicted or in recovery.
Here is a three-part series we ran on the issue of heroin in town: