In the early hours of Monday, a Kennebec County sheriff’s deputy used Narcan to counteract an overdose for the first time since the sheriff’s department was trained in its use in February.

While taking Buddy Burton to the Kennebec County jail from Mount Vernon, Kennebec County Interim Sheriff Ryan Reardon said Deputy Jacob Pierce noticed Burton was behaving oddly and had been moving around in the back seat before becoming silent and appearing to be suffering from overdose symptoms. Pierce pulled over and administered Narcan, which can prevent or reverse the effects of overdoses of heroin or other opioids.

On the way to the hospital, Pierce administered a second dose and called for Augusta Fire and Rescue to respond.

“This case illustrates the need for Narcan to be issued to all first responders,” Reardon said. “This subject would have possibly died in the back seat had the deputy not been trained and armed with the Narcan kit.”

In other instances of its use, Narcan has been administered by ambulance or rescue staff, he said.

Reardon said the sheriff’s office had received a call about a possible overdose in Mount Vernon. En route to Mount Vernon, Pierce had been told that Burton had five outstanding warrants, mostly for failing to pay fines. Burton also was charged with resisting arrest, as he hid from Pierce and tried to avoid being taken into custody, Reardon said.

Burton was treated at MaineGeneral Medical Center and is now in the Kennebec County jail.

“We will continue to champion this cause with our community partners, MaineGeneral Harm Reduction and others to make this happen,” Reardon said, referring to the use of Narcan. “Heroin continues to plague the state of Maine. It’s important that we use all the tools at our disposal to keep people from dying.”

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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