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More Doses Of Narcan Being Used To Treat Overdoses

Posted at 8:21 PM, Feb 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-02 21:27:56-05

Health officials said more doses of the powerful life-saving drug Narcan are being used to treat overdoses. 

Metro police arrested Teasha and Ernest Biggs after they were allegedly found overdosing inside their SUV in the Walmart parking lot in Madison Thursday night. 

Two children with them were found crying outside the vehicle.

Their arrest affidavits stated that paramedics had to use 10 doses of Narcan on Ernest and 6 doses on Teasha.

"Ten is out of the ordinary but we are seeing some patients that require up to 10 milligrams, some even more of Narcan both in the field and when they get to the hospital," Nashville Fire Department Medical Director Dr. Corey Slovis told NewsChannel 5. "The right dose of Narcan is as much as it takes."

A box of Narcan contains two 4mg nasal sprays. One dose, or spray, is powerful enough to reverse the potentially deadly effects of opioids like fentanyl within minutes. 

However, Slovis said the department is seeing more than 10 percent of patients requiring multiple doses. 

"It is unusual someone will not have any response at all to two or four milligrams but we had some people that had to go to ten before they had a significant reversal. More people are using more narcotics and more narcotics are being cut with things stronger than just heroine," Slovis said.

Slovis said the hospital can see anywhere between 3 and 10 drug overdoses a day in Nashville. 

While there is no shortage of Narcan in Nashville, the need to have constant supply is going up.

"We've dramatically increased our Narcan order in," Slovis added.

The price of Narcan is not getting cheaper either.

In 2009, it cost the Nashville Fire Department almost $12 a dose. The number nearly tripled in 2016.

Last summer, the Metro Nashville Police Department equipped its officers with 790 boxes of Narca. 

The price tag was just under $60,000. 

Ernest admitted to shooting up the drugs with the children inside the vehicle. 

They faced charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and child endangerment charges. 

They are both expected to appear in court next week.