The Lake Havasu City Police Department, with the assistance of the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS), has taken steps in the effort to help combat the opioid epidemic and treat potential overdoses associated with opioids. On November 2, 2017, Lake Havasu City Police Officers began carrying kits containing Narcan (brand name for Naloxone) nasal spray. The kits are carried in all patrol vehicles and be available to officers in the event of an opioid overdose.
Over the past few months, supervisors, patrol officers, detention officers and some administrators have gone through AZDHS training at the Lake Havasu City Police Department to be able to administer naloxone nasal spray in the event of an opioid overdose. Naloxone allows officers, who can sometimes arrive on the scene of a possible overdose before medical personnel, to be able to use the life-saving drug immediately. It is not just to help those who may be struggling with addiction, but also to help protect those who may accidentally come into contact or overdose on the drug, such as children, the elderly or an officer.
Naloxone blocks the opioid from the receptors in the brain, temporarily reversing respiratory and central nervous system depression. It is extremely important for the individual to receive medical care as quickly as possible. Even after the administration of naloxone, symptoms may return in a matter of minutes depending on the amount, potency and type of drug an individual has taken along with other substances the individual may have ingested, such as alcohol or other drugs.
In June of 2017, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey declared a statewide health emergency to address the increasing number of opioid deaths in Arizona. Naloxone is another tool officers will be able to use to possibly save someone’s life.
Additional information about the opioid epidemic and the impact it is having in Arizona can be found at www.azhealth.gov/opioid.