SVFD utilizes opioid hot spot chart to tackle overdose crisis

(STORY IMAGE:KHQ.COM)

SPOKANE, Wash. -The frontlines of the opioid crisis aren't in giant cities. They're in your neighbor's backyard. A man sent KHQ a video today, saying he watched his neighbor overdose. And then be rescued. All over the course of an afternoon.  

"I think there's a lack of understanding in the seriousness of an overdose, and how quickly death can develop," Rich Llewellyn, Division Chief of Medical Services for the Spokane Valley Fire Department, said.

We showed him the video, it shows a overdosing, being pulled from a vehicle by his friends and then abandoned.

He says he called 911 and then watched as emergency responders arrived and likely saved that person's life.

Llewellyn tells KHQ that for his department, and most in Spokane County, this is nothing new.

"Often times, it'll be anonymous. And they'll have left the scene, and we'll find someone who's overdosed," Llewellyn said.

Emergency responders are trained to use narcan. It's administered as a nasal spray that can counteract the effects of opioid drugs.

"You can walk in and find a patient who's really close to death, and within a minute or two of using narcan, they can be talking to you," Llewellyn said.

And so they can figure out how to distribute that $42 per pop narcan, Llewellyn created this map, which shows opioid hot spots throughout Spokane Valley.

The areas in red show where the most overdoses are reported.

Specifically we're talking about the areas near Sprague and Dishman-Mica, Arggone and Trent and Broadway and Pines.

"We hope to make all this area green," Llwewllyn said.

Now, thanks to Llewellyn's study, fire stations can be better equipped to know which stations need a higher volume of supplies.

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