Metro Nashville police officers will start carrying the prescription medication, Naloxone, to help fight opioid overdoses.
Officials made the announcement Friday morning in a Tweet. Naloxone, also known as the brand name Narcan, is used to treat the effects of an opioid overdose.
After more than two months of planning, MNPD officers about to start carrying medication to treat opioid abuse: https://t.co/46kp6ZVRbz pic.twitter.com/5UU9HzEvzP
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) August 11, 2017
According to police, the department received a prescription for 790 Naloxone kits on June 13. The cost was just under $60,000.
Each kit contains two, 4 mg doses of Naloxone in nasal spray applicators.
“The Medical Examiner’s Office tells us that, during the first five months of this year alone, at least 87 deaths were related to opiates or opioids,” Metro Chief Steve Anderson said. “That figure underscores the necessity of our officers carrying Naloxone as they answer calls for service and conduct investigations across the city. The medication will also help protect our personnel who may unwittingly come into contact with these dangerous substances.”
The medication will be carried by Specialized Investigations Division narcotics detectives, precinct-based undercover detectives, Flex officers from all eight precincts, and patrol sergeants in all eight precincts.
Officers have to first complete an online training program from the Tennessee Department of Health before they can carry the drug.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump officially declared the opioid crisis a "national emergency."