Updated: 08/01/2014 10:04 PM
Created: 08/01/2014 4:44 PM KSTP.com
By: Joe Augustine
A new state law passed this summer that went into effect Aug. 1 allows first responders to carry and administer an anti-overdose drug.
Hennepin County Sheriff's deputies started carrying Narcan in their patrol cars Friday morning. The drug counteracts the effects of Heroin and other opiates.
"We need every critical second," Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said. "People are dying."
Officials say a record-setting 56 people died from heroin overdoses in Hennepin County in 2013. The county is on pace to pass that number in 2014. A total of 29 people have already died from heroin overdose as of June 30, according to the most-recent figures made available by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.
Stanek was an advocate of the legislative bill, dubbed “Steve’s Law,” signed into law in May. It allows his deputies and other first responders to carry the antidote.
The namesake of the legislation Steve Rummler, died after a heroin overdose in 2011. His father, Bill, says Steve had been suffering from back pain since 1996 and was often prescribed painkillers. It was when those painkillers ran out that Bill says Steve turned to heroin.
A 25-year-old Wisconsin man says Narcan saved him from two heroin overdoses.
"I shot up,fell out and died basically," the man said. He is a recovering addict who went to rehab at the Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Center in Minneapolis.
"Both times, I was revived (with) Narcan."