Elkhart officers to receive overdose treatment drug Narcan to save more lives
ELKHART, Ind. --- All police officers in the city of Elkhart will soon be trained and equipped with a treatment for potential opioid overdoses. The treatment is called Narcan and can be administered in emergency situations that could be the difference between life and death.
On Tuesday, a new policy was approved by the board of public safety that paved the way for the opioid-reversal drug to be readily available for all Elkhart police officials. The goal for all this? Make their jobs safer, and save more lives.
"The nationwide rise in fentanyl and carfentanil um, is definitely a concern," said Elkhart Lieutenant Travis Snider.
Since the year 2000, more than 470,000 overdose deaths have occurred nationwide. Recently, synthetic drugs have gained more popularity, and are playing a huge factor in the growing problem.
The police department of Elkhart is now working to combat that trend, by equipping every officer with Narcan that is designed to help an overdosing individual to come back down from the lethal high quickly.
Lieutenant Snider explained that this version of Narcon is so easy to administer it could be a game-changer in the fight to save lives.
"There's not much to it. You can throw it in your pocket, put it in a nostril, and push up on that and it just works as an antihistamine spray bottle would," said Snider.
So why now? Why not get this to the force sooner?
Lieutenant Snider discussed that the formula for Narcan has changed over the years and this current version is safer with few potential side effects.
"It was a lot more technical in the past. You could cause harm to an individual if you give the improper dose," explained Snider.
The cost of Narcan was also an obstacle for the department in the past, but Oaklawn, a local mental health service provider is stepping up by donating the treatment to the officers.
With the widespread department rollout of the treatment, Lieutenant Snider believes it is a win-win for both officers and the community.
"You can give it and if you are not on an opioid overdose, the worst it will give you is a runny nose, so we can't overdose you on Narcan and we can't underdose you on Narcan," said Snider.
Typically, officers had to wait for medics to arrive on a scene to administer a drug treatment, but now that they all will be equipped with Narcan that won't always be the case.