A little more than a month after the Seattle Police Department partnered with the Marah Project to equip bike patrols with a drug to reverse the effects of overdoses, two officers on Sunday became the first members of SPD to administer a dose of the medication, saving a young woman’s life.
Bike Officers James Kellett and Randy Jokela responded to the Westlake Mall at about 6:30 PM Sunday after a witness found a 21-year-old woman unresponsive in a third-floor bathroom.
When officers arrived, they found the witness performing CPR on the young woman as she kneeled over her in a bathroom stall strewn with a half-dozen needles and a heroin cooker.
Make a mental note: the bathroom at Westlake Mall is another drug consumption/injection site that already exists, whether you like it or not. A few issues ago, we took you on a tour of other sites—fetid alleyways, freeway underpasses, and Starbucks bathrooms—where people use drugs and often overdose. Creating a sanctioned, regulated, clean safe consumption site would give people a place to use without incurring so much risk—as Vancouver has done with InSite, where nobody has died from an overdose.
On Sunday, the woman recovered some of her strength and was taken to the hospital after the officers administered a nasal spray of naloxone, which counteracts the effects of a heroin overdose. 👏👏👏👏
Seattle police sergeant Sean Whitcomb believes naloxone could have saved the life of his brother, lost to overdose in a North Seattle bathroom in 2014. He wants the public to know that you can call 911 to report an overdose with immunity from prosecution:
The Good Samaritan law grants people immunity when they’re reporting an overdose to 911. People still think they’re going to get in trouble, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. In a state of overdose, seconds count. You have to get the person help right away. It has to get into the collective psyche that you need to call for help. It’s very risky to inject. We’ve said it before: If you’re going to inject, at least do it with someone else in case something goes wrong, so they can call and ask for help.