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Arkansas State Troopers now equipped to fight opioid epidemic

AP Photo/Mel Evans

LITTLE ROCK — Another law enforcement agency is equipping their officers with a new tool that could save a person’s life.

Arkansas State Troopers will now be carrying the prescription medication Naloxone or Narcan in an effort to reduce the number of overdose deaths in our community.

“I applaud the Arkansas State Police in its effort to stem the tide of overdose deaths by expanding access to the life-saving drug Naloxone and ensuring a pathway to treatment and recovery for those struggling with addiction,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson.

The announcement comes several months after the Office of the Attorney General declared opioid use and addiction a “public health crisis.”

On Monday, President Donald Trump’s drug commission urged him to declare a national emergency, saying there are approximately 142 deaths every day from overdoses.

The report noted that is “equal to September 11th every three weeks.”

In addition, the commission asked the President to equip all law enforcement officers with Narcan, a move Arkansas State Police are already taking.

“It is imperative for the Arkansas State Police to be able to help the citizens of this state. With troopers in every county of Arkansas, we want to make sure that if we are the first responders to an overdose situation, we can appropriately and effectively save someone’s life,” said Colonel Bill Bryant.

According to the prescription’s website, Narcan counteracts the effects of an overdose by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain. Multiple doses can be administered if signs or symptoms return before medical help arrives.

All state troopers will be trained and given two doses of the drug in the event of an emergency.