Marfa PD administers overdose medication to local — a 1st for the department

MARFA — The Marfa Police Department responded to a 911 call of a possible overdose over the weekend and revived an unresponsive individual with two doses of Narcan. 

The incident marks the first time a Marfa PD officer has had to utilize Narcan, the brand name of the overdose reversal medication naloxone. The responding officer was Adriana Rodriguez, who located the unresponsive subject when she arrived on scene and “immediately administered two doses of Narcan which resulted in the subject regaining a pulse,” the department wrote in a Facebook post about the incident. 

Marfa EMS also assisted in treating the individual, who was transported to Big Bend Regional Hospital, which later confirmed the overdose was due to narcotics. The department would not specify which drug, or drugs, were involved specifically, “for the confidentiality of the subject,” according to Lieutenant Nichole Fuentes.

Officer Rodriguez, who has been with the department since August 2022, was trained on the use of Narcan in March of 2022, according to Lieutenant Fuentes. 

All Marfa PD officers have undergone Narcan training and carry the medicine on their person, said Fuentes. The training officers have taken is a two-hour course hosted by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement which covers opioids, opioid overdoses, signs of an opioid overdose, how to administer Narcan, and more. The department said the incident was isolated, and they have not seen a recent uptick in overdoses. 

“The Marfa Police Department is fortunate to not have an upscale in calls involving overdoses due to the use of Narcotics,” wrote Lieutenant Fuentes in an email. “But in the event that we do have the calls our officers are trained and prepared to administer it.” 

Amid a statewide increase in overdoses and local fears around the spread of fentanyl, local schools — including Marfa ISD — have begun stocking Narcan

Narcan is becoming more widely available nationwide, having recently been approved for over the counter purchases at pharmacies. 

The Prescription Shop, Marfa’s only pharmacy, does currently have two nasal sprays that come together in a package, according to pharmacist Bob Fast — that pack of two is a steep $83. 

However, several doses of Narcan are available, free of charge, at Starbugs Marfa, a coffee shop, sci-fi bookstore and event space located at 204 S. Highland St.