The New York Police Department has announced that its officers are to start carrying antidote kits that will use a drug called naloxone to save the lives of heroin users who suffer overdose.
The Associated Press reports that the NYPD will be provided with 19,500 kits, that contain two syringes and two inhalers of naloxone each, by New York state's Attorney General office. Naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, reverses the dangerously slow breathing that is one of the primary reason for death during opiate overdose.
And it works: a trial in Quincy, Massachusetts has seen police offices use Narcan on 221 occasions since 2010. It's successfully reversed overdose in 211 cases—a staggering 95 percent success rate. The NYPD will receive $1.17 million from the state to fund the initiative, securing them 19,500 of the kits, which cost $60 each.
It's not yet clear when NYPD will start using Narcan, but when it does the kits will be carried by officers in all five boroughs. For once, it's an initiative that will directly save lives. [Associated Press via Verge]
Image by eric molina via Creative Commons license.