Quick action by a local bystander and Waveland and Bay St. Louis police kept a man from dying from a drug overdose in a Waveland parking lot Monday evening.

“Apparently, a guy was going to Little Caesar’s to pick up some pizza and when he was walking up to get his pizza, this guy approaches him and says ‘I really need somebody to talk to,’” Waveland Police Chief Mike Prendergast said Wednesday. “He started talking to him and, next thing you now, this guy falls down.

“Someone called 911, so we were dispatched there for a medical emergency, and I guess the guy was going to load him up and take him to a hospital, but he starts hearing sirens, so he pulls over and gets the guy out. Bay St. Louis police officers got on the scene first and started doing CPR, and then one of our officers hits him with the Narcan and brings him back.”

The man who overdosed was then transported to the hospital.

Narcan — the brand name of the prescription drug Naloxone — is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. A person treated with Naloxone still has to have medical treatment, since the overdose symptoms would return once the Naloxone wears off.

Another man who was apparently going to the Planet Fitness gym in the Choctaw Plaza a few doors down from Little Caesar’s filmed a few seconds of the incident showing the bystander who initially helped the victim appear to drive off. He posted on Facebook that he stayed with the victim until officers arrived.

Prendergast said that the man who appeared to drive off was actually just moving his vehicle out of the way so that first-responders could work on the unconscious man.

“It may look like he took off, but he didn’t,” Prendergast said. “He pulled over and parked his car and came over to talk to officers. … I’m just glad he stopped to talk to that guy. He didn’t have to. He could have just blown him off, and that guy would’ve fallen out and just laid there.”

Prendergast said officers have seen a sharp increase in drug overdoses in recent months.

“I don’t know the exact number, but we’ve been seeing a lot more overdose cases,” Prendergast said.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency announced earlier this month that Harrison and Hancock counties have the highest number of overdose cases in the state, due in part to the prevalence of the use of the drug fentanyl. Drug dealers apparently mix fentanyl with other narcotics because it costs less, but is more potent and much more likely to result in overdose.

“My officers always carry the Narcan,” Prendergast said, “every last one of them. We’ve been using it a few times a month. Thank goodness we have the Narcan, because we’d have a lot more deaths than we’ve had.”

If you believe someone is experiencing a drug overdose, “Don’t hesitate to call 911,” Prendergast said.

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