Metro officers to carry drug to combat opioid overdoses - WSMV News 4

Metro officers to carry drug to combat opioid overdoses

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Narcan Nasal Spray used to combat opioid overdoses. Narcan Nasal Spray used to combat opioid overdoses.

Metro Police officers will begin carrying the prescription medication Naloxone that can be used to treat the effects of an opioid overdose, police announced Friday in a news release.

The police department ordered 790 Naloxone kits and the medication at a cost of just under $60,000. Each kit contains two 4 mg doses of Naloxone in nasal spray applicators.

“The Medical Examiner’s Office tells us that, during the first five months of this year alone, at least 87 deaths were related to opiates or opioids,” Chief Steve Anderson said in a news release. “That figure underscores the necessity of our officers carrying Naloxone as they answer calls for service and conduct investigations across the city. The medication will also help protect our personnel who may unwittingly come into contact with these dangerous substances.”

The problem hit home late last month when Mayor Megan Barry’s son died from a combination of drugs.

Police said Naloxone has been distributed to work stations throughout the police department. It will be carried by specialized investigations division narcotic detectives, precinct-based undercover detectives, Flex officers from all eight precincts and patrol sergeants in all eight precincts.

Before carrying the medication, officers must successfully complete an online training program developed by the Tennessee Department of Health.

Abuse of opioids depresses the activity of the central nervous system and can result in respiratory failure. Naloxone works by displacing opioids from the receptors in the brain that control those functions.

President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a national emergency on Thursday. His declaration will provide additional access to federal money.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid overdoses claimed 33,000 lives in 2015.

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