Central Illinois deputies get life-saving overdose kits

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Sheriff’s deputies in Macon County in central Illinois are learning to save lives by administering a medicine that reverses the effects of heroin and other opioid drugs.

The (Decatur) Herald-Review reports the county’s patrol units will soon carry life-saving kits to address the growing problem of heroin overdose.

The kits are equipped with naloxone, better known by its brand name, Narcan. They were donated by the Mount Zion-based Tyler Yount Foundation. The foundation is a not-for-profit organization started by Kathy Burkham, whose 23-year-old son died of an accidental heroin overdose.

Heritage Behavioral Health and St. Mary’s Hospital supported the donation of the overdose kits. Each kit costs about $50.

Sgt. Ron Atkins attended a recent 30-minute training session and says the system is easy to use.