Weather closings and delays

Push to get Surry County probation officers Narcan training

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SURRY COUNTY, N.C. -- Sunday Joyce is starting to see it more and more.

"They're showing up under the influence and high," said Joyce, a probation officer.

She says things have gotten pretty scary lately.

"We're taking them to the emergency room, calling mobile crisis," Joyce said.

Joyce says many of the people on probation that she meets with or does home visits with are hooked on opioids.

Some have blacked out in the probation office.

“We had a young girl that passed out,” Joyce said.

Probation officers called EMS twice last week for drug-related emergencies.

“You almost feel helpless,” Joyce said. “You don't know, I mean what do you do?"

It’s a question Surry County EMS Director John Shelton is trying to answer.

"There have been situations where individuals have actually gone unconscious in the office while in their interview," Shelton said.

Since Jan. 1, there have been 14 opioid-related deaths in Surry County, according to Shelton.

Shelton is working on plan to get probation officers nasal Narcan training which reverses the effects of a drug overdose.

“I think it will save someone eventually,” he said.

Surry County EMS, the sheriff's office and local police departments already have the training or will get it soon.

Shelton says probation officers need it too.

"The potential is extremely high that they're going to encounter," he said.

Shelton says probation officials with the state have to approve the plan first.

It’s an extra resource he says that officers like Joyce and others can use during a close call.

“It's scary,” Joyce said. “It's very scary.”