Unresponsive Pontiac man revived after 3 doses of Narcan

Published: May. 19, 2023 at 5:11 PM EDT
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OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WILX) - The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office reports a Pontiac man “in the throes of a drug overdose is likely alive today” due to the response of a specialized unit on Friday.

A family member had asked for a welfare check leading to two deputies from the recently formed Crisis Response Unit showing up at a man’s home, unannounced around 10 a.m. They found him unresponsive at the bottom of a stairway, with his eyes open, rolling back in his head, according to the sheriff’s office.

The deputies administered three doses of Narcan to counteract opioids resulting in his regaining consciousness, according to the sheriff’s office.

This was the first time the Crisis Response Unit encountered a person actively overdosing during one of their unscheduled follow-up visits.

The man agreed to go to the hospital for treatment and was told of the resources available to him.

The Crisis Response Unit, staffed by a sergeant and two deputies, began operating in December of 2022 and is funded by a $1.4 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Rather than make an arrest or search for evidence, unit members are focused on connecting substance abuse users or those with mental health problems to resources available through hospitals or such resources as the Oakland Community Health Network.

Unit members do not wear typical police uniforms and are dressed more casually to not intimidate the people they are trying to assist.

Captain Todd Hill, who oversees the program, said he is hopeful communities will see the value of the program and make it multi-jurisdictional.

In April, there were 408 calls for service flagged, with 60 of them being for substance abuse and the balance for people with mental health needs. Of that, the unit had 26 contacts with people impacted by substance abuse. Fifteen of them agreed to accept assistance. Family members of those impacted are also eligible for services.

“We continue to evolve and adapt to changing circumstances,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “This proactive crisis intervention team is another step forward for us as an agency and a community. As my grandma used to say, ‘The proof is in the pudding.’ I know in this case, the proof from this new effort is a saved life.”

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