Colorado Springs Police Department
the first in the state to deploy the substance.
and also known as Naloxone
, the medication will be dispensed when needed as an atomizer, similar to a nasal spray. Officers will not inject the drug, says Commander Thor Eells, who put together the program at the request of Police Chief Pete Carey.
Carey's request followed an increase in seized heroin within the region, the CSPD says in a news release. The program costs $25,000 and is funded through money seized from drug busts.
Eells says while Narcan is a prescription drug, officers are permitted to use the drug through the city's medical advisor for the Fire Department and the city's ambulance provider, American Medical Response. Under a state law adopted last year, Eells says, non-medical people are allowed to administer the drug.
"Even though we are not EMTs, we have training to recognize a narcotics overdose," Eells says in an interview. He notes the drug has no side effects and does not pose a danger to people who don't need a dose but are given one anyway.
"There is no negative effect," he says.
Eells says officers are currently being training and will be given a Narcan kit when they finish training.
Narcan programs have been adopted in 19 states, mostly on the East Coast, the news release says.
Springs police are being equipped with a heroin overdose antidote that reverses the effects of an overdose, making the