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April 07, 2015

Pa. state police will carry heroin antidote Naloxone

Pennsylvania State Police will begin carrying the heroin antidote Naloxone to combat the growing number of heroin and opioid overdoses nationally and across the state, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday.

In Pennsylvania, heroin and opioid overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death. In 2013, about 2,400 people in the state died from drug overdoses.

Pennsylvania State Police Acting Commissioner Marcus L. Brown said in a statement that state police will be trained in administering the lifesaving nasal-spray drug known as Narcan. 

"At times, our troopers may be first on the scene of an overdose and this gives them another tool to deal with the emergencies they encounter,” Brown said.

Donation from Aetna, Geisinger Health, Health Partner Plans, and Highmark, are helping to supply the antidote.  Every state patrol car in Pennsylvania will be equipped with two naloxone doses.

“Pennsylvanians are dying every day from drug overdose, so it is critical to have naloxone in the hands of our state police and first responders who may be first on the scene of an overdose situation,” said the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Acting Secretary Gary Tennis.  “We are grateful for the donations and support that we have received from the health insurance community to ensure we have naloxone available statewide. I thank them for their support which is a first steps towards saving more lives from overdose.”

Police departments in New Jersey, including the state police there, have been using Narcan since 2014. 

Read the full release here.

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