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Joliet resident uses Narcan to save an overdose victim
Anastasia Tuskey

Joliet resident uses Narcan to save an overdose victim

Last Sunday, a Joliet resident, who recently participated in naloxone training offered by Will County, used these newly acquired skills to save a life.

“I was in a park in south Joliet when I noticed a parked car and a man lying on the ground next to it,” Jerry Reeves said. “There was also a woman standing there so I went over to offer help. The woman told me the man was drunk but I recognized the symptoms of an overdose.”

Reeves said the man’s breathing was labored. He asked the woman what the man had taken.

“She admitted he had used heroin so I rushed back to my car and grabbed the Narcan I had.”

Reeves said he gave one dose and the man’s breathing became more even but he still did not regain consciousness. So he gave a second dose. He directed the woman to call 911 and explained that the Narcan did not have a long lasting effect.

“At that point, the man sat up and was very disoriented,” said Reeves. “Again I told both of them they needed to get to the hospital. I also advised the woman to take the Narcan training.”

Dr. Kathleen Burke, director of substance use initiatives in the Will County Executive’s office, said she is happy Reeves used his training he received to save a life.

“Jerry did everything as he was instructed,” she said.

Burke has been working hard to train as many people as possible to administer naloxone. She conducted the training session Reeves attended at the Overdose Awareness Day event held last week in New Lenox where more than 112 people were trained.

“The Surgeon General has urged everyone to become trained to administer naloxone,” she said. “People are overdosing anytime, anywhere and the more people who are trained and carrying naloxone, the more lives that will be saved.”

Reeves said he was aware of the rising problem of opiate use. He said he had previously witnessed an overdose in the same park but did not have any Narcan at that time.

“I couldn’t believe there was a class like this available and that I would receive a box of Narcan free. I am very thankful I took this training and was able to help save this man’s life.”

Burke is available to offer naloxone training to any group, organization or individual in Will County. For more information, call (815) 774-7486 or email kathleenburke@willcountyillinois.com.

These services are supported in-full or in-part by a contract to Will County Executive Office by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery, as part of the Illinois Prescription Drug Overdose (IPDO) grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SP-022140).
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