Baltimore County police officers will soon be trained and equipped with narcan, the life-saving drug that reverses an opioid overdose.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetez made the announcement at a press conference Monday noting that all officers will receive training on how to administer the drug over the next 6 months.
As reported in The Baltimore Sun:
In 2014, Baltimore County had the second-highest number of deaths from heroin and opioids in the state at 145, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Baltimore city was the highest at 275.
Gregory Branch, the director of the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services, likened the country’s heroin problem to the Great Depression.
“Today, we’re facing another type of depression; — not an economic one but a public health crisis in the form of overdose deaths,” Branch said. “In 2014, 85.7 percent of all intoxication deaths in Maryland were opioid-related.”
Providing naloxone to county police officers will cost about $28,000 every two years, according to the county. The drug has a two-year shelf life. A single dose costs $40.
From 2010 to 2015, Baltimore County police handled more than 1,500 overdose calls for service, Police Chief Jim Johnson said.
“There’s no doubt that the decision reached to have Narcan available in the police units will help save lives,” Johnson said.
The product will be available to officers over the next two or three months, he added. Training has already started.
For more information read the full article in The Baltimore Sun.