WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts police officers deal with the opioid crisis every day. A new policy will allow them to carry more of the overdose reversal drug naloxone, sometimes referred to as Narcan, a brand of naloxone, to revive someone who overdosed on opiates.
West Springfield Police Sgt. Brian Pomeroy told 22News, police are usually the first ones to respond to overdoses. “By us having Narcan and administering Narcan before the ambulance even arrives, that greatly increases the chances that this person is going to survive.”
West Springfield police started carrying naloxone last month. Under previous guidelines, police were only allowed to carry two milligrams. That’s a single dose. Now they can carry twice that amount, of a stronger, more effective dose. That’s because the drugs are becoming stronger.
Tapestry Health told 22News, there’s been a spike in tainted heroin, which has lead to an increase in overdoses. They said more than 1,650 people died from overdoses in Massachusetts in 2015. One in four opioid and heroin deaths were among people, ages 18 to 24.
Marcy Julian from the Learn to Cope organization told 22News, “To have Narcan, at that moment, to save a life makes all the difference obviously, because that person has opportunity, to hopefully find recovery and live another day to find it.”
The Centers for Disease Control said drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.
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