Purdue Pharma Grant
NSA and pharmaceutical manufacturer Purdue Pharma LP have launched a pilot program to support training of front-line officers on the use of naloxone. This “rescue drug” can reverse the fatal overdose effects of some opioids, including heroin.
The number of states that have enacted rescue drug laws, allowing broader access to naloxone, has doubled since 2013. These laws, first adopted by New Mexico in 2007, enable medical professionals and first responders to administer naloxone without fear of legal repercussions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 44 people in the United States die every day from an overdose of prescription painkillers. Many of these tragedies might be prevented with the administration of naloxone. Studies of naloxone have shown it to be effective in saving lives by preventing or reversing the effects of opioid overdose, such as respiratory failure, sedation, and low blood pressure, says Daviess County, Kentucky, Sheriff Keith Cain, chairman of NSA’s Drug Enforcement Committee and an NSA board member.
As part of the NSA initiative, select law enforcement agencies will receive overdose kits to be disseminated in certain jurisdictions.
“Training and equipping deputies with naloxone is similar to putting a defibrillator, a tourniquet, or other lifesaving equipment in squad cars,” says Sheriff Rich Stanek of Hennepin County, Minnesota.
Funding for the program is made possible through a $350,000 grant from Purdue Pharma.
“As first responders and leaders within our community, we must equip law enforcement with all the tools necessary to combat this epidemic, and I am proud that the nation’s sheriffs are leading this charge,” says NSA Executive Director Jonathan Thompson. “We are grateful to Purdue Pharma for supporting this NSA program and law enforcement efforts to save lives.”
“For more than a decade we’ve worked with law enforcement to combat prescription drug abuse,” says Mark Timney, CEO of Purdue Pharma. “We’re proud to continue that commitment by supporting this lifesaving program.”