Officers in the New York Police Department (NYPD) will soon begin carrying antidotes capable of reversing the effects of heroin and opioid overdoses, as part of its ongoing effort to combat what US Attorney General Eric Holder has described as an “urgent and growing public health crisis.” As the Associated Press reports, New York state’s Attorney General office is outfitting the city’s police force with 19,500 kits that contain two syringes and two inhalers of naloxone: a drug capable of countering the dangerously slow breathing that often occurs during opiate overdoses.
The drug, marketed under the brand name Narcan, has a shelf life of two years, with each kit costing about $60. The NYPD will receive $1.17 million from the state to fund the program, though it’s not clear when officers will begin carrying the antidotes.
“By providing NYPD police officers with naloxone, we are making this stunningly effective overdose antidote available in every corner of the five boroughs,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement Tuesday. “This program will literally save lives.”
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