The Arkansas State Police announced Tuesday that troopers will be equipped with Narcan, an anti-opioid medication that has already grown in use among law enforcement agencies in central Arkansas.
Narcan, a trademark name of naloxone, is a nasal spray that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose and has been used to save multiple lives in Pulaski County, according to authorities. State police said all 526 commissioned personnel will be trained on how to administer the antidote, which is rapidly being adopted by law enforcement agencies across the U.S.
Bill Sadler, a state police spokesman, said a small number of commissioned personnel have already been trained, and the agency expects all personnel to be trained by the end of August. The agency purchased the drug for $47,088, and all commissioned personnel will be supplied with two doses, he said.
Narcan will be another tool for state troopers who come across an opioid overdose, Sadler said, especially in rural areas of the state where the anti-opioid drug may not be readily available compared with a metropolitan environment.
“Whatever the call may be, the trooper is now equipped with this drug to lessen the chance of that person dying,” Sadler said, noting that troopers may come across an overdose victim while assisting other lawmen, conducting a traffic stop or interviewing a suspect.
In Arkansas, the state Health Department has recorded a rising number of overdose fatalities in recent years, with many attributed to the abuse of opioids such as methadone, hydrocodone and Oxycontin.
The number of overdose deaths in the state increased from 153 in 2011 to 227 in 2015, a 48…
click here to read more.