The First Big City to Make Cops Carry a Heroin Antidote
Continuing to respond to what officials around the country are calling a “growing epidemic” of heroin abuse in the US, New York City law enforcement officials announced Tuesday that city cops would begin to carry antidote kits for those who overdose on the opiate-based drug.
Police Commissioner William Bratton announced that his department would join a $5 million effort set up last month by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Police officers will be equipped and trained to use a nasally administered “naloxone kit” – the spray version of a drug antidote that revives those who may have taken a fatal dose of heroin or a similar opiate.
The naloxone antidote program – now being adopted by the nation’s largest police force – follows the groundbreaking work of the police department in Quincy, Mass., which became the first department in the nation to require its officers to carry naloxone back in fall of 2010. Since then, Quincy police officers have saved the lives of 211 of 221 people who overdosed on heroin or opioids, officials say.