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Substance Abuse

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One Month After Dedham Police Deploy Narcan, 5 ODs Reversed


Jon Palmer

January 8, 2015

In the month since the department deployed the opiate overdose-fighting drug Narcan in all of their police cruisers, officers have used it to reverse five potentially fatal heroin and opioid overdoses—a measure of success that has prompted the department to train the public to administer it, too.

“The numbers, during the first month of use, have moved the Dedham Police Department and the town of Dedham to step up its public education programs surrounding heroin and drug overdose,’’ the department said in a statement.

The Dedham Police Department is asking Dedham residents interested in learning how to administer the drug to contact Officer Jason Sullivan at 781-751-9300 or The statement noted that anyone with a family member suffering from addiction that could result in an overdose can get more information on obtaining the drug from the Mass. Department of Health and Human Services here. In addition, it called attention to Massachusetts’ Good Samaritan Law, which protects someone from drug possession charges when an overdose victim seeks medical attention.

Three different Dedham Police Officers have administered the drug a total of five times since Dec. 4. Officer Paul Cady administered Narcan twice in the past month, reversing the overdoses in both cases.

“There really is no pattern,’’ Officer Cady said in the statement. “Heroin and opioids are in every community, being used by men, women, young, old, rich and poor. Anything we can do to prevent the loss of life in our community is a good thing.’’

Dedham Police Chief Michael J. d’Entremont reiterated the importance of Narcan in law enforcement’s efforts to curb drug abuse and overdose deaths.

“We will never arrest our way out of the nationwide heroin and opioid abuse problem, and we must take a realistic approach in responding to it,’’ he added.