(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Peter Newsham announced that Patrol Officers, Sergeants, and members of the Narcotics and Special Investigations Division are now equipped with Naloxone (Narcan) to aid in the prevention of opioid overdoses.
“Putting Narcan in the hands of our MPD personnel will help save lives as we continue to fight DC’s opioid epidemic,” said Mayor Bowser. “We know that ending the opioid epidemic must be an all-hands-on-deck effort – community leaders, health care professionals, and public safety experts. By working together, we can increase awareness and strengthen our prevention, treatment, and recovery initiatives.”
Naloxone is a medicine that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose. Law enforcement officials are sometimes the first to arrive at the scene of an overdose, placing them in the best position to administer this time-sensitive intervention. MPD Patrol Officers and Sergeants will store their Naloxone in the utility pouch of their outer vest carrier.
“Our government and community partners have made significant improvements in combatting opioid related overdoses in recent months,” said Chief of Police Peter Newsham. “By equipping our officers with this lifesaving tool we are confident that even more progress will be made by reducing deaths related to opioids.”
Earlier this month, MPD members received training on opioid overdose prevention. The training teaches members how to recognize the signs of an overdose, how to care for a person who has overdosed, and how to administer Naloxone via nasal atomizer. Once all members completed the training, the kits were distributed to those who will be carrying Naloxone.
According to DC Health, in 2017 there were 279 overdose deaths that involved the use of opioids in the District of Columbia. Read “LIVE.LONG.DC.,” the District’s strategic plan to reduce opioid use, misuse, and related deaths