Officers Save Seventh Life With Overdose Reversal Drug

The scene in a downtown alleyway Saturday night was unfortunately all-too-familiar to West Precinct bike officers Matt Newsome and Dick Bonesteel: police had received a report around 9:30 PM of an overdose in an alley at 6th Avenue and Virginia Street. The officers arrived and found a man lying on the pavement, his skin pale and blue, his breathing slowed.

Just as they had under similar circumstances nearly two months ago, Newsome and Bonesteel uncapped and delivered a dose of Naloxone nasal spray to the unconscious 31-year-old man in the alley. Within a minute, the man began taking small breaths.

Seattle Fire Department paramedics arrived and evaluated the man, who regained consciousness and was able to walk to an ambulance under his own power before he was taken to Harborview Medical Center.

This incident marks the seventh time officers have successfully used Naloxone since Seattle police began carrying it in mid-March. The case will become part of the ongoing study conducted by the University of Washington into SPD’s use of Naloxone for a possible department-wide deployment.

As a reminder, Washington  law provides immunity from criminal drug possession charges for anyone seeking medical aid for themselves or someone else experiencing an overdose.