The Pima County Sheriff’s Department was one of the last law-enforcement agencies in Arizona that did not require its deputies to carry Narcan. Now every deputy carries a dose.

Three lives have been saved this year because of Pima County sheriff’s deputies’ use of Narcan, which reverses the effects of opioids, officials said Saturday.

A 25-year-old woman was saved by deputies who responded to a possible opioid overdose in the early morning of March 25. They found her unconscious and barely breathing before administering two doses of the nasal spray. The woman regained consciousness and was taken to a hospital, a department news release said.

A month later, deputies responded to a business in the 6900 block of East Sunrise Drive for a man who reportedly used drugs in a restroom. When deputies found the 25-year-old man unresponsive in the women’s restroom, they administered a single dose of Narcan. He also regained conscious when paramedics took him to be treated.

At about 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, deputies were dispatched to an unresponsive 41-year-old man who apparently overdosed on opioids. They found him with “bluish lips, faint breathing and an infrequent pulse,” the news release said.

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After receiving a dose of Narcan, the man sat up without assistance and was taken to a hospital.

The Sheriff’s Department was one of the few agencies statewide that did not require its deputies to carry Narcan, citing the fact that paramedics carry the drug and are often on the scene around the same time deputies are dispatched, according to Arizona Daily Star archives.

Today, each sheriff’s deputy carries a single dose of Narcan in a first-aid kit. The doses were provided at no cost by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1


Shaq is a public safety reporter and the Road Runner columnist, keeping readers up to date on transportation news. In 2017, he started as an apprentice and later worked part-time until graduating from the UA and being offered a full-time position in 2018.