NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The drug Narcan is used to help save people who have overdosed on opiates like heroin.
Now, North Myrtle Beach fire rescue crews will be allowed to carry it on emergency calls.
Unlike an EpiPen or adrenaline shot, this drug has zero side effects. However, if given to someone who has just overdosed on heroine, it can save their life.
"Basically, the Narcan is pushed in their nose, one milligram in each nostril, and they basically wake right up." said Derrick Heim, with the North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety.
Heim said a person can go from not breathing to awake just 30 seconds after receiving a dose of Narcan. EMTs in North Myrtle Beach will now be allowed to carry it on scene.
"I know how it saves people, so that was my goal when I found out that we were able to give it," Heim said. "I pushed really hard and it was about a month it took to actually get it in stock and do the training."
North Myrtle Beach is now the third fire department in the state allowed to administer Narcan, with another being Myrtle Beach.
Since March of this year, 30 overdoses from opiate drugs have been logged in North Myrtle Beach, with 4 of those being fatal. And that does not include pill usage.
Heim said the need for Narcan is dire now more than ever, with Horry County coming in second last year for most Narcan doses given in South Carolina, at 509.
"Horry County has already given 718 Narcan uses this year and we're going to get to about 1,100 for the year," he said. "So we're going to more than double Narcan use."
Heim added it only takes about an hour to fully train someone on how to administer Narcan, and the upsides could be huge in putting a stop to opiate-related deaths in the area.