The Governor of Massachusetts recently declared a public health emergency over opioid overdoses.

8 Apr 2014

Naloxone is news right now like never before—as it should be in a country where overdose is the most common cause of accidental death, with an estimated 16,651 fatalities linked to opioid analgesics in 2010. Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder urged law enforcement agencies to train and equip more officers to carry the lifesaving drug, which is being widely heralded as “truly amazing.” New York State is planning to fund this using confiscated crime proceeds. And just last week, the FDA approved a new naloxone delivery device called Evzio. There’s no doubt that more cops carrying naloxone will save many lives. Their new role could also change the way the police—long feared by drug users—are seen by the public.




Buck had a head start on most of his peers: In addition to serving as a police officer for 17 years, he’s also been an EMT for 20. So he already appreciated Narcan as a lifesaving tool and wanted to get trained. In the EMT setting, he’s seen people passed out, “blue, with a respiratory rate of zero.” Then Narcan is administered and moments later, “they are able to get up and walk out to the ambulance.” He’s also experienced incidents as a policeman when he didn’t have Narcan, when it could have been used, with a chance of saving somebody’s life.

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