LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (August 1, 2017) -- Arkansas State Troopers are routinely the primary first responders across Arkansas involving incidents of substance abuse and addiction. Now they have a new tool to combat the ever-increasing crisis that is Opioid overdose.
The U.S. Office of the Attorney General in September 2016 issued a memorandum calling the opioid epidemic a “public health crisis.” The memorandum called for the use of a prescription medicine called Naloxone (also known as Narcan) to prevent overdose deaths.
Governor Asa Hutchinson has been at the forefront of this campaign, seeking statewide support in fighting the opioid addiction problem. “I applaud the Arkansas State Police in its effort to stem the tide of overdose deaths by expanding access to the life-saving drug Naloxone and ensuring a pathway to treatment and recovery for those struggling with addiction,” said Governor Hutchinson.
Narcan can be administered to anyone since there are no negative side effects from the drug. The prescription medication will only have an effect on someone who is suffering an opiate overdose, due to its ability to attach to the opiate receptor in the brain.
“It is imperative for the Arkansas State Police to be able to help the citizens of this state. With troopers in every county of Arkansas, we want to make sure that if we are the first responders to an overdose situation, we can appropriately and effectively save someone’s life,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police.
Each state trooper is being trained and issued two doses of Narcan nasal spray, giving people suffering from an opiate overdose a greater chance of survival.