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Police to Carry, Administer Narcan in Case of Heroin Overdose

Naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan, can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. Anne Arundel County Police officers are being trained to administer the drug.

Anne Arundel County’s efforts to combat a rise in heroin use – and deadly drug overdoses – will have a new tool when police officers begin carrying a drug that can quickly reverse the effects of an overdose.

Officials made the announcement on Monday as the next tool in the fight against drug trafficking. The Anne Arundel County Police Department noticed an increase in heroin overdoses last summer in the southern portion of the county, including Annapolis, Parole, and Edgewater.

Most of the overdoses were occurring in public places such as malls and shopping centers, and many of the people purchasing and using the heroin were traveling from other counties into Anne Arundel County, police said.

In many cases, police officers are the first responders on the scene of an overdose, which often disrupts normal breathing or causes the user to stop breaking. With this in mind, Police Chief Kevin Davis decided to purchase Naloxone, known as Narcan, a potentially life-saving drug that can reverse the side effects of a heroin overdose.

Members of the Anne Arundel County Police Department are being trained by the Anne Arundel County Fire Department on how to use Narcan.

Police officers will administer Narcan through a nasal spray that they will be issued; it has been successful in treating overdoses of heroin and other opiates. The drug reverses the effects of an overdose, restoring normal breathing.

During training, every patrol officer in the agency will receive a dose of naloxone. In Anne Arundel County alone so far in 2014, 85 people have suffered heroin overdoses. Of those overdoses, 12 were fatal.

The police department has continued to combat the two most prevalent crimes in Anne Arundel County: theft from automobiles and theft of precious metals. The common denominator in these types of crimes is suspects addicted to the drug heroin, police say.

In recent months, officers in several districts have made arrests during Operation H.O.P.E. resulting in seizures of suspected heroin.

“The heroin problem that exists is not isolated to Anne Arundel County, and this is not an issue that law enforcement can arrest their way out of,” Chief Davis said. “A holistic approach, involving education, treatment and enforcement, is needed to tackle this disease. One of the major tenets of law enforcement is to protect lives and I believe that outfitting officers with Narcan is an invaluable tool in the effort to save people from losing their battles with substance abuse.”

mcgillicuddy March 24, 2014 at 02:13 PM
It will develop into another arm of the drug market. Save the money and reduce the number of addicts.
Justin case March 26, 2014 at 01:24 PM
The heroin epidemic is a result of more strictly enforced prescription drug laws. A lot of heroin addicts started on heroin by first abusing prescription drugs. Stricter laws mean the pills are harder to get so the user has no choice but to find a dose of heroin to supplement for the opiates. Their body doesn't care as to which one it gets so long as it gets it. The only other options are to either get treatment or get deathly sick from withdrawal. We all know if a user is not ready to quit then all the treatment or jail time in the world will not stop him. It's a horrible life and few of us make it out alive. I'm proud to say I have made it out alive going on four years clean. It can be done but only if they want it for themselves (not for their wife, kids, family, court system

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