ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- Deputies in St. Johns County will now be equipped with the overdose drug, Narcan, which is a nasal spray used when someone is suspected of an opioid overdose.

The drug has come under fire for being a "safety net" for drug users. 

Narcan reverses the narcotic effects on the brain which can cause a person to stop breathing.

St Johns County Fire Rescue personnel administered over 400 Narcan treatments in a year, which averages 37 a month, according to a release from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. In this year alone, 18 cases opioid overdose have been documented in St. Johns County.

According to the same release from the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, in 2015, over 20,000 people died in prescription opioid overdose related deaths, and nearly 13,000 people of Heroin overdoses nation-wide.

The aim of first responders in St. Johns County is to get the death toll down.

Sheriff David Shoar said, "All first responders expedite their services when someone's life is in dangers, and the recent delivery of this medication to our agency will allow law enforcement to provide advanced medical care in order to save those lives."

"Forty-seven death involving opioids is alarming, and we now have the ability to significantly impact that number, in cooperation with our Fire-Rescue partners. If only one life is saved, the effort is a win for our community," said Sheriff Shoar.