Cops to carry drug overdose antidote

April 7, 2014 Heather Chin
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The anti-overdose drug naloxone will now be carried by police officers throughout New York State, including New York City, where an 84 percent spike in deaths from heroin overdose took place between 2010 and 2012, according to the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Naloxone has been used in emergency rooms and by emergency services personnel for decades, but training and equipping “every law enforcement agent in the state [with the drug] will save countless lives,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman explained, noting that the “antidote” instantly reverses the incapacitating effects of an overdose, buying time to get victims to the hospital.

The Community Overdose Prevention program will receive $5 million in joint federal-state funding allocated from money seized during drug deal arrests. Funds cover the cost of training and equipment; each drug kit costs $60 and lasts two years.

“Heroin is destroying our communities and it’s time we looked at broader solutions to fight back,” said Schneiderman. “Naloxone is stunningly effective at stopping an overdose in its tracks.”

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, opioid overdoses resulted in the deaths of over 2,000 New Yorkers in 2011—over twice the fatality rates as in 2004.

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