COOK COUNTY, IL – A Skokie man found unresponsive Wednesday morning in a courthouse bathroom was revived with naloxone, the second time in two weeks Cook County Sheriff’s Police used the opioid overdose antidote to save someone’s life, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today. At approximately 11 a.m. on Wednesday, sheriff’s deputies at the Skokie Courthouse received a report of a man having a medical emergency in the men’s restroom. Arriving deputies found an Evanston Police officer and a fellow Sheriff’s deputy attempting to wake up the unresponsive man, who was lying on the bathroom floor. Suspected heroin, a syringe and other items were also found on the floor.
A Cook County Sheriff’s Police commander who was in the building arrived with a naloxone nasal spray and administered it to the 24-year-old man. He awoke shortly after.
The man, who was at the courthouse for possession of a controlled substance and theft cases, was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated and released. He was charged on Wednesday with heroin possession, and was denied bond during a hearing the same day at the Skokie Courthouse. This is the second time Sheriff’s police administered naloxone, since the department began carrying the drug in June 2016. On April 23, a Sheriff’s Police officer administered it to a 28-year-old Rockford woman found unresponsive in a hotel room in unincorporated Elk Grove Township.
In addition to Sheriff’s Police carrying naloxone, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and Cermak Health Services – a division of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System – have a naloxone distribution program at Cook County Jail, in which kits are given to previously identified individuals in custody upon their release from custody. The program’s goal is to prevent overdose deaths of those leaving the jail, so they have the opportunity to seek treatment.
Since the program’s launch on Aug. 1, 2016, more than 2,900 individuals in custody have been trained on how to use naloxone, and Cook County Jail staff have distributed more than 1,700 kits.
Video of the incident can be viewed here: