With the opioid crisis, drug abuse and addiction a growing concern around the nation and in Arkansas, first responders are doing what they can to stay prepared.
Police departments around the state are searching for ways to get Naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan, which can help to stop drug overdoses.
State Drug Director Kirk Lane has helped secure one grant that will help assist high frequency overdose counties like Sebastian, Baxter and Sharp.
“In four separate occasions, we've actually saved a life with it. So, there's four people walking around today that wouldn't be if we didn't have this,” said Captain Jim Hansard with the Maumelle Police Department.
It’s a temporary fix to a long-standing problem. The state wants to get Narcan to as many first responders as possible, and fast.
“The state has obtained several grants through our federal partners, The Prescription Drug Overdose Grant and The State Targeted Response to Opioids Grant,” Lane said.
The State Targeted Response Grant will provide Narcan to first responders in Crawford, Union, Garland and several other counties.
Lane said 10 agencies, including Maumelle police, secured funding on their own
“It is costly, we have to have help, but so far, it's not been a problem getting that help. It's a good and worth while thing to do, and we'll continue to do it,” said Hansard.
Now, departments all over Arkansas recognize there’s a need greater than everyone thought.
“We recently received a grant through Blue Cross Blue Shield from the Blue and You Foundation for $125,000. That money is slated to go towards 14 cities in Arkansas,” Lane added.
Officers in cities like Bentonville will get 80 kits of Narcan thanks to the grant. Jonesboro will receive 175 kits. North little rock will get 200 kits, plus many others with college populations.
"Benton police helped us a lot with our program. They were the first I know of,” said Hansard.
Lane said those 10 departments that secured funding on their own have saved 17 lives to date.
The latest incident happened Monday night in Independence County.