Columbus police training to administer anti-overdose medicine

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Columbus Police Department is receiving training and supplies of Naloxone in order to help opiate based overdose victims.

Columbus Police Chief Chris Beddingfield said the department plans to carry what is known as Narcan in every patrol vehicle.

“Time is of the essence and this will give us an opportunity to possibly save a life by having this medication available upon initial arrival,” Beddingfield said.

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Naxolone is administered as a nasal spray with first responding police, fire and EMS units beginning to use the medication.

Beddingfield said the majority of the time law enforcement has to be the first on scene to make sure the area is safe for fire and EMS units to proceed with their care.

“Those precious few minutes we are on scene making sure things are safe and the fire department and EMS can proceed in are a perfect time to administer Narcan and possibly save a life,” said Beddingfield. “Police officers are trained in basic first aid and medical care and this takes that a step further. Our mission is to protect lives and property and this includes while people are in a crisis such as an overdose. We are definitely not trying to take the place of fire and EMS but supplement and assist them with our main focus being the safety and well-being of our citizens.”

Narcan can be used for overdoses of painkillers or heroin.

Henderson County agencies have started putting the kits in law enforcement and emergency responder vehicles recently as well.

Overdoses from opioid use are a leading cause of death in North Carolina, either from accidental overdose or from the misuse of painkillers such as Oxycodone and drugs like heroin.

Non habit forming Narcan kits are available by prescription and have no side effects. The drug is made to reverse the action of the slowing of breathing that is caused by an overdose.

The Free Clinics provided kits for nine patrol cars recently for the Columbus Police Department.