Thursday Marks International Overdose Awareness Day

Posted at 8:08 AM, Aug 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 09:20:01-04

Thursday marks International Overdose Awareness Day in Middle Tennessee. It's an issue that hits close to home in Nashville, following the tragic death of Mayor Megan Barry's son. 

Franklin Police officers just got access to the life-saving drug, Narcan. The medication essentially reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.  

Officers just spray it up the person's nose. Not only does this save the lives of people who have fallen victim to an overdose, it can also help an officer who comes into contact with opioids out in the field. 

Officers are required to undergo special training before they are issued the life-saving nasal spray.

They aren't the only ones using it. Earlier this month, the Wilson County Sheriff's office said the use and availability of Narcan is already saving lives there. 

The Metro Nashville Police Department ordered its kits in June. 

"The Medical Examiner's Office released information 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 at the time. 

According to the Department of Justice, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.

Nashville saw a 76 percent increase in murders between 2014 and 2015 and a 120 percent increase in fatal opioid overdoses in 2016