Police officers given Narcan kits

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In an effort to prevent heroin overdoses, more than 600 Colorado Springs police officers are currently undergoing training to administer a medication called Narcan.

“It can literally be the difference between life and death in an opiate or narcotic overdose,” said Thor Eells, a commander with CSPD.

Within the last year, the state legislature passed a law which allows people without medical training to administer the drug, which reverses the effects of an overdose within seconds.

“It immediately boots the heroin or whatever medication is in the system out of the receptors those medications attach to,” said emergency medicine physician Stein Bronsky.

In translation, Narcan restores the signal lost between the brain and the lungs when someone overdoses.

“The police being able to give this medication, they can give it on scene and within seconds they can reverse the adverse effects of these drugs and medications even potentially before medical crews arrive, therefore saving lives,” said Bronsky.

Narcan is also used to treat overdoses of prescription painkillers like Percoset and Vicodin, but police in Colorado Springs are focusing on heroin after doubling the amount they’ve seized in the last year.

“We know that we’ve been seizing more heroin within the region,” said Eells. “It just makes sense that if we’re seizing more heroin within our community, we know that heroin is in the community.”

Funded through confiscated drug money, the $25,000 program teaches officers how to recognize an overdose and how to use the Narcan kits, which will come in the form of a nasal spray.

“It comes in a liquid vial,” said Eells. “But then when it’s administered, it’s pushed through what’s called an atomizer and that converts the liquid into a mist and then the mist is absorbed in the blood vessels in the nose.”

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