Cop’s quick action possibly saves life of overdose victim

The city of Safford has settled a lawsuit brought by a number of current and former police officers regarding the city's change of its benefits package. Each officer will receive $22,000 to be paid over the next three years.

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – An officer’s quick action and the concern from a son possibly saved the life of an overdose victim Oct. 10.

The officer was dispatched to the victim’s apartment after her son had called for a welfare check. The son said the victim had health issues and the family had not heard from her in a few days, which was unusual. That combination gave the son cause to be concerned for his mother’s well-being.

Additionally, the son said his mother’s car was parked in the complex’s parking lot, so he believed she was at home.

The officer knocked loudly “several” times, according to a police report, and announced his presence but received no response.

The officer then used a key given to him by the complex’s management and unlocked the door only to find it chained from the inside as well.

After again announcing his presence multiple times and why he was there, the officer forced the door open and entered the residence.

There he discovered a woman lying on a bed in the bedroom who was not responsive. A prescription bottle of OxyContin pills was located on a dresser next to the bed and while it was only a few days old had numerous pills missing.

OxyContin contains Oxycodone, this is a semi-synthetic opioid synthesized from thebaine, which is an alkaloid found in the opium poppy plant. It is a narcotic pain medication used to treat moderate to severe pain that is expected to last for an extended period of time. It is also one of the more abused prescription drugs and misuse can easily cause addiction, overdose, or death. 

Paramedics from Lifeline Ambulance responded to the scene and transported the victim to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center for treatment of an opioid overdose.

Later, after the victim had been revived, she told the officer that she accidentally had taken too many of her pills, which caused the overdose.

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