A person who was unconscious after a drug overdose was able to stand up and walk to an ambulance shortly after being given two doses of Narcan, only recently approved for use by first responders.

The anti-overdose drug was administered successfully by a Hennepin County sheriff’s deputy last week.

The deputy gave the drug to an unconscious person Feb. 22, and the patient’s breathing “improved significantly,” according to a news release from the office.

Paramedics then arrived and gave the patient a second dose of the drug and, after a short time, the patient was able to walk to the ambulance with assistance.

Hennepin County officials became the first to train and equip first responders with the drug in August, the same month that a law allowing law enforcement officials and firefighters to use the drug was passed. Last week was the first time the county used Narcan.

Narcan, also known by its generic name naloxone, can temporarily reverse the effects of opiate overdoses caused by heroin or prescription drugs.

MPR reported that Coon Rapids firefighters became the first in the state to administer the drug to a patient in late November.


Anne Millerbernd is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune.