Long Beach police officers to carry Narcan
The U.S. is experiencing a serious opioid crisis and it’s happening on the Coast as well. The City of Long Beach is finding new ways to fight this epidemic.
The Long Beach Police Department held a press conference informing the public on how their officers will now be equipped with Narcan. The officers were trained by a doctor on how to properly administer the drug. Chief of Police said, “We jumped on the opportunity to get it and put it in our officer’s hands, not only to make our community safer for our citizens, but to make it safer for our officers. As you know with medical emergencies, seconds matter and these officers are the first ones on the scene.”
Narcan is an emergency substance that counteracts the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose. Narcan causes no harm when administered. The City of Long Beach is partnering with the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area to deploy Narcan for opioid overdoses.
HIDTA has seen Narcan save lives in past cities and they expect the same with the City of Long Beach. Tim Vilence with HITDA said, “In Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, within the first six months, they saved over 60 lives.”
Jackson County deputies also carry Narcan. Many hospitals use Narcan via a syringe when faced with opioid overdoses.
Dr. Jason Black tells News 25 about Narcan and the opioid epidemic on the Gulf Coast. “It kinda unbinds the opioid so to speak from the actual place it binds and has its effects. Their mental status improves, they start breathing and talking, they kind of come awake.”
“It’s definitely an issue here. It definitely hits close to home. We absolutely see it here,” said Dr. Black.
In 2016, there were 180 opioid-related deaths in Mississippi.