All Mississippi law enforcement to soon carry life-saving drug

AP Photo/Mel Evans

JACKSON, Miss. — To combat the growing opioid problem plaguing communities across the nation, two Mississippi departments are joining forces to provide law enforcement officers with the life-saving drug Naloxone.

“I am grateful this partnership between the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety will allow sworn law enforcement personnel to carry this lifesaving drug,” said Governor Phil Bryant.  “We must employ every available resource to combat opioid overdoses in our state, and I appreciate these agencies’ cooperation to contribute to that effort.”

According to one state agency, one in every 10 Mississippians abuse prescription drugs in some way. It’s an action, they said, that can cost people their lives, which is why the state wants to be proactive.

Each certified law enforcement officer will now be equipped with a dose of Naloxone, a medication that reverses the affects of an overdose by attaching to receptors in the brain.

Health experts noted while it is a useful tool, it’s not meant to be a substitute for treatment. In fact, the the symptoms of an overdose could return once the medication wheres off.

It’s just the latest step the state is taking in the fight against opioids.

Earlier this year, lawmakers passed a bill that allows anyone in the state to purchase Naloxone without a prescription.