SFPD Reports Continued Success with Opiate Overdose Reversals (17-119)

Over the past year, the San Francisco Police Department has partnered with the Harm Reduction Coalition’s Drug Overdose Prevention and Education (DOPE) project. The collaboration has resulted in SFPD cars being equipped with lifesaving Narcan kits. Officers have been trained on how to recognize life threatening opioid overdoses from such drugs as heroin and prescription painkillers and administer the intranasal Naloxone as an antidote.

Since the beginning of 2017, San Francisco Police officers have responded to 17 incidents in which Narcan kits have been used to save the lives of those experiencing an overdose. Recent incidents include:

  • On Friday, August 4th at approximately 1:14 PM, officers assigned to “Operation Safe Muni” were monitoring the western Muni fare gates at Civic Center Station. They were approached by BART police officer who asked if they had Narcan. The BART officer explained that there was a subject around the corner who had overdosed. One of the SFPD officers retrieved a first aid kit from his patrol car. The officers noted that the victim exhibited signs of an opiate overdose and administered one dose of Naloxone to the subject. San Francisco Fire Department paramedics arrived and assumed care for the victim who began to regain consciousness. The subject was subsequently transported and treated at a local hospital.
  • On Saturday, May 14th at 7:18PM, two officers from Southern Station were dispatched to a gas station on the 1500 block of Harrison Street. Upon arrival, a 21 year-old male victim was located lying on the floor of the restroom. The officers determined that the victim was likely suffering from an opiate overdose. After radioing for an ambulance, an officer administered the Naloxone medication. After approximately ten seconds, the victim took deep, labored breaths and his blue skin coloration gradually began to dissipate. He was transported to a hospital in stable condition.
  • On Monday, May 16th at 1:03AM, Mission Station officers responded to Clinton Park on a possible overdose call. When they arrived, they found an unconscious adult male. The victim’s friend told the officers that the victim had just injected a potent amount of heroin. The officers requested an ambulance and retrieved the Narcan kit from their police car. The victim’s lips were blue, his skin was pale and he exhibited shallow breathing. An officer administered one dose of Naloxone and the victim woke up almost immediately. He was transported to a hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

The officers involved in these incidents are eligible for an appropriate commendation award.

The Narcan kits have become an extremely useful tool in helping officers as first responders and in safeguarding lives. Prompt screening and assignment of 9-1-1 calls by Department of Emergency Management dispatchers and early intervention by SFPD officers equipped with Narcan kits, combined with skilled care and transport by paramedics to an emergency room all increase the chances of survival for an overdose victim.

News Release