Macomb Co. deputies to combat drug abuse with new program

This year the Macomb County Sheriff's Office has responded to 16 drug overdose deaths. 

Now, the office is launching a new program in hopes responding officers can help save more lives. 

"Housing someone in the Macomb County Jail that's an addict is like putting someone with cancer in the jail, and saying, 'Get Better'. Without treatment, it doesn't work," says Judge Linda Davis in the 41B District Court. 

She and other county officials spoke Wednesday morning in a news conference about the power addiction has over drug users. Prevention and treatment are key, but what happens when an addict overdoses?

A life-saving tool can help help reverse an overdose. It's a nasal spray called NARCAN, and sheriffs in the county will now be armed with the spray as they head to homes where an overdose has happened. 

"If they make it to our ER, a lot of them are priority fours which means they are dead at the scene, and it's an unfortunate thing. So, with this project here, we're able to at least get them back to breathing, and at least to our hospital," says Dr. Anthony Colucci from the Henry Ford Health System. 

A man's live was just saved using the spray earlier this week.

"Our deputies responded to a home in Mt. Clemens on an unconscious male, known to the deputies to be a heroin addict. Upon arrival, the fire department and the ambulance service was there, and our deputy was able to come on with his opiate overdose prevention kit and consulted with the EMS personnel, and administered a dose and brought the gentlemen back in two minutes," says Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. 

The money for the program comes from drug forfeiture funds in the county. Deputies have been trained on how to use the spray by employees at Henry Ford Hospital.

The spray has been used for some time and is familiar in the medical world. Deputies in Oakland County are familiar with the spray, too. 

A bill was recently passed which takes away any liability of the deputy administering the drug, which helped bring this new program to fruition in Macomb County.

If you or a loved one is battling an addiction, click here for help

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