New efforts to stop America’s opioid abuse problem
All Warner Robins police officers will soon carry a life-saving antidote for opioid overdose, which has been a growing problem in the city, region and nation.
The City Council on Monday approved a bid of $8,625 to buy Narcan nasal spray packs for all officers on the force. The spray is used to offset the effects of an opioid overdose and is increasingly carried by police officers across the country, particularly in areas hard hit by the opioid epidemic.
“It’s saving lives almost every day,” Police Chief Brett Evans told the council in the pre-council meeting.
Evans couldn’t say whether having the packs could have prevented some of the deaths the city has seen as a result of drug overdose and tainted drugs. However, he said Houston County paramedics have saved lives using Narcan, and in some cases officers may be on the scene before the paramedics.
The spray is being purchased with money from the department’s state condemned fund account.
Evans said the Narcan is also for the safety of the officers, who can have a reaction just from touching drugs in some cases.
Opioids include heroin and prescription pain pills. Warner Robins and the Middle Georgia area saw a rash of deaths earlier this year from people taking what were believed to be fake tablets of Percocet, a prescription pain killer. Tests showed the pills contained a toxic synthetic opiate blend.