FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - It was training day for Fort Lauderdale Police officers who are learning life-saving techniques to deal with drug overdoses.
In response to the increased cases of opioid-related drug overdoses, Fort Lauderdale Police said their officers will start using Narcan nasal spray. 7News cameras on Tuesday captured a training instructor showing officers the small vial containing the Food and Drug Administration-approved nasal form of naxolone, a drug used for emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose.
While Narcan itself is not new, opioid overdose kits handed out to trainees are a new tool for Fort Lauderdale officers. If someone has overdosed on heroine or fentanyl, Narcan can help save their lives.
“The goal is to reverse the effects of an opioid with Narcan,” said Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Chief Chief Daniel Oatmeyer.
Opioids slow users’ breathing, often to the point of death. Narcan wakes them up from such a state.
Experts said opioid use has skyrocketed in Florida. About 1,400 overdoses were reported in 2015, and about 600 of those took place in Broward County alone.
“It’s only natural that the City of Fort Lauderdale, and the fire department, as well as the police department, we’re trying to get any life-saving measure out on the streets,” said Fort Lauderdale Police Rick Maglione.
Fort Lauderdale Police currently have 30 opioid overdose kits, which include instructions to administer a four-milligram dose of Narcan.
The kits are also intended for police officers as well. Last week, an Ohio police officer overdosed when he brushed fentanyl off his shirt. It took two doses of Narcan to save him.
Police said the kits will be used to save any life, a drug dealer or an officer who’s been exposed. “Even just serving a search warrant, or opening a package or getting it on your skin, it could be absorbed to the point that the first responder can overdose on it as well,” said Maglione.
The first phase of training includes patrol supervisors, special investigations supervisors, narcotics detection canine officers, criminal investigations forensics detectives and field training officers, as well as neighborhood action team officers.
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