News

Capitol police latest to add life-saving drug to reverse heroin overdoses

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Dec 9, 2015 4:15 PM
naloxone11.jpg

In this May 13, 2015 photo, the contents of a drug overdose rescue kit is seen at a training session in Buffalo, N.Y., on how to administer naloxone, which reverses the effects of heroin and prescription painkillers. The kits are being provided to community members in Erie County who seek training in how to recognize a potential drug overdose and administer naloxone, which reverses the effects of heroin and prescription painkillers. New York and other states have been equipping lay people, as well first responders and families of addicts, with naloxone in an effort to increase the chances it will be there when needed. (AP Photo/Carolyn Thompson)

(Harrisburg) -- Police departments across the state have been steadily adding the life-saving drug naloxone to each officer's equipment list; the latest to join is the Pennsylvania Capitol police.

The 89 officers in the department are now carrying naloxone.

It's used to bring someone who is overdosing on heroin back to life.

Secretary of General Services Curt Topper says officers got more than an hour of training on how to administer naloxone.

"We pull the red tab, then place it on your thigh or the thigh of the victim....

Then, you hear a recorded machine count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

"So it's that simple."

Capitol police officers have responded to 12 heroin overdose calls so far this year.

Last year, they took just one call for a heroin overdose.

"So this a big deal. This is part of this broader effort to address this problem in Pennsylvania," says Governor Tom Wolf.

A donation from a pharmaceutical company paid for the naloxone injectors.

Many midstate police departments now carry naloxone as well.

The antidote is supposed to be available to anyone in the state by simply walking into a pharmacy.

Most private insurance, as well as Pennsylvania's Medicaid program provide coverage.

Capitol police officers only patrol parts of Harrisburg and Susquehanna Township.

Meanwhile, the state's Physician General has issued a prescription allowing anyone to walk into a pharmacy and get naloxone, if its on hand -- no questions asked.

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