OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Since Oklahoma City Police started distributing Narcan to people suffering from opioid overdoses, they’ve been seeing yearly increases in the number of lives being saved because of it.
Oklahoma City Police have seen a spike in opioid overdoses in the past year.
Officers started carrying the medication Narcan back in 2015.
According to the latest data, in 2015 only two individuals were given Narcan. That number has risen every year since. In 2021, officers administered Narcan to 73 people, and now this year, it’s almost double. Up to 135 lives have been saved so far in 2022 because of it.
The Department has a program for officers to administer Narcan to those suffering from an overdose.
It reverses the effects of opioids in a matter of minutes. It’s a life-saving measure for drug users.
“When they [officers] arrive on scene, they recognize a person who is in crisis of opioid overdose. And so, they administer this medication which provides life saving measures to assist before they are taken to an area hospital. And so that’s something that we’ve been providing to people. It’s another tool that our officers can use when they arrive on scene,” said Dillon Quirk, Oklahoma City Police Department.
Narcan is a nasal Spray prescription medicine used for the treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose emergency with signs of breathing problems and severe sleepiness or not being able to respond.
“When our officers recognize people that are suffering from an overdose, an opioid overdose, in particular, this provides life saving measures,” said Quirk.
Dillion Quirk with the Oklahoma City Police Department said Oklahoma City officers carry Narcan daily.
“All of our officers that are on the streets are provided this medication,” said Quirk.
According to the CDC, Overdose deaths remain a leading cause of injury-related deaths in the United States. The majority of overdose deaths involve opioids.
“I definitely think that it’s made a difference. Again, it’s something that our officers can administer to people that if they arrive on scene first, there are several times where an officer is just down the street from a house. And so, it can be used for the good in those purposes,” said Quirk.
The CDC suggests If you or someone you know is at increased risk for opioid overdose, especially those struggling with opioid use disorder, you should carry the medication and keep it at home. Anyone can carry it and it could potentially save a life.