Winter Haven police to start carrying anti-overdose drug

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – Soon at least one Polk County Police Department will join the fight against the Opioid epidemic. Winter Haven will be the first major police department in Polk County to equip all of their officers with Naloxone, known by the brand name Narcan.

Winter Haven will be the first major police department in Polk County to equip all of their officers with Naloxone, known by the brand name Narcan.

The drug reverses the effects of an Opioid overdose within seconds.

Paramedics with Lakeland Fire Department have been carrying the anti-overdose drug for years.

“This is a very routine call for us,” Lakeland Fire Department Rescue Captain Matthew Smith said. “the department carries various forms.There’s several different ways that we can give it, we can give it through an I.V. through the vein,  intranasally or intramuscular. The fact that I can be given intranasally means it doesn’t require a paramedic to give it.”

Smith said he has administered doses more times than he can recall and knows how effective it is at saving lives.

“It takes an unresponsive patient who is basically barely breathing, and within a couple seconds they’re sitting up and having a conversation,” Smith said.

Now police departments are starting to arm themselves with the life-saving drug.

“In a situation where seconds count, that will definitely help,” Smith said.

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