BAY COUNTY, Fla. - With the Opioid epidemic on the rise, the Bay County Sheriff's Office is enhancing its existing substance abuse program.
BCSO is looking at innovative ways to help drug addicts overcome their addictions. Opioid overdose has been on the rise and law enforcement has been on high alert. In emergencies, officers have had to result to using an anti-opioid drug called "Narcan" that blocks the effects of an overdose in order to save a life.
"Many times they regain consciousness quickly and sometimes we have trouble getting them to the hospital and sometimes they're mad at us for interrupting their high. So, it really is an effective drug and have very minimal side-effects. If we find somebody unconscious and we feel that it may be an overdose, we administer the Narcan and it's not an opioid overdose, it really doesn't harm them" said Bay Co. Sheriff, Tommy Ford.
Narcan can stop the life-threatening effects of a drug before it's too late, but a BCSO program that is helping inmates overcome their substance addictions, can help prevent overdoses all-together. The newest addition to the Bay County lifeline program is called "Mission Based Resilience"... and it's already starting to see some positive results.
"They've told me that they've had changes in their life. How they deal with their significant others on the phone visitation. So, they've told me that they've seen changes" said Resilience Trainer, Ed Naggiar.
The twelve step program focuses on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
"These guys are super motivated. They're the most motivated people I've ever seen, actually. Maybe because of where they are, because they're at their lowest point. It's almost like someone who's drowning and you throw them a lifeline- that's why it's called lifeline" said Naggiar.
Mission based resilience works with court-ordered inmates and inmates who sign up voluntarily. The lifeline program has been around for years, but this is the first year mission based resilience is in effect. officials are hopeful that this addition helps lower the amount of opioid related deaths.