The Buchanan County EMS runs about 1,400 calls a year, of those calls roughly 400 are overdose calls.
Even though they receive numerous overdose calls, it appears that the amount pertaining to illegal drug use has gone down.
Andrew King, public relations coordinator and EMT, discussed the number of cases that called for narcan in the past two years.
“In 2019, we ran 76 calls where we administered narcan. In 2018, we ran 87, so the numbers are down just a little bit as far as administering narcan,” King said.
He also went on to say that the majority of their overdose calls are due to someone accidentally taking too much of their prescription medication.
“Sometimes we run into where people forget if they’ve taken extra meds or not. So they call just as a precautionary,” said King.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s preliminary data for 2018 show drug-related deaths declining about 5% nationwide, which is the first time it’s decreased since 1990.
Even though the amount of overdoses have decreased overall, Missouri is still projected to have a higher death rate than other states.
Buchanan County is also one the few that have medical dispatchers on staff, which help callers before EMS arrive and let them know what to be aware of once on scene.
King said if you do see someone overdosing to stay with them and call 911 and a medical dispatcher will walk you through on what to do until emergency services get there.
Depending on the medication, there could be many possible outcomes. King shared an example for a prescription medicine overdose.
“If it’s something like a blood pressure medicine they take in order to keep their blood pressure low, if they take too much, it could actually lower their blood pressure to a dangerous level,” King said.
In the event you do fear you’ve overdosed, contact your doctor or call 911 and they will do a full assessment and advise if you need to go to the ER to receive further testing and monitoring.