South Shore - Dune Park (copy)

South Shore Line passengers disembark from a train at the Dune Park station in January in Porter. A Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District transit police officer saved an overdose victim with naloxone Monday on the South Shore Line.

A Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District transit police officer Monday saved a LaPorte County woman who had overdosed on heroin while riding on the South Shore Line from Chicago.

According to NICTD police, at about 3:10 p.m. a train conductor found the woman unresponsive in a train car bathroom, where she had shot up heroin. The conductor notified police.

The train stopped at the East Chicago station, where NICTD Transit Police Chief Jessie Watts Jr. responded.

He said he found the woman slumped over, surrounded by drug paraphernalia, but still breathing. He brought with him a kit containing the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone, with is also known by the brand name Narcan.

"I administered the drug, which she had a slow reaction to. And she did come out of it. After a few minutes, she was conscious and talking," Watts Jr. recalled. "She was very conscious and talkative in the ambulance before they took her to the hospital."

Paramedics brought the woman to St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago. Watts Jr. said the incident is still being investigated for any possible criminal charges.

"Our first priority is to get her medical assistance," he said. "Her life is more important than any type of penalty."

Watts Jr. said his department has performed four naloxone saves, with him personally accounting for three of them. The last one was after the Cubs' World Series parade in November 2016. All of the department's officers carry naloxone.

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Health Reporter

Giles is the health reporter for The Times, covering the business of health care as well as consumer and public health. He previously wrote about health for the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.