CITY OF LEBANON COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE
POINT OF CONTACT: Derek Gean
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Officers now have Narcan in hand
Officers with the Lebanon Police Department now have Narcan on hand to assist in combating the nationwide opioid abuse epidemic.
Officers began the process of becoming certified to carry the drug following the LPD entering into an agreement with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to provide Narcan to the police. The first shipment of the drug became available to patrol officers this week.
According to Chief Randy Halstead, the officers are taking part in this program to "save more lives."
"Law enforcement officers are often the first emergency responders to arrive on scene for a suspected drug overdose victim. Instead of having to wait on emergency medical services to arrive, an officer will be able to administer Narcan to restore breathing and body function of a person in opioid distress," Halstead said.
Opioids decrease the flow of oxygen to the brain; the reversal of the effect needs to be done as soon as possible to avoid brain injury or death. Narcan is dispensed as a nasal spray and takes effect within two to three minutes.
According to Halstead, all patrol officers have or will soon complete a four-hour training course provided by the University of Missouri Medical Services.
The availability of Narcan to the officers is not only an effective way to help someone who has overdosed, but it is also a public and officer safety concern. Narcan can counteract the effects of fentanyl, which can be a threat to first responders. The skin can accidentally absorb fentanyl, or it can be inhaled.
Aside from fentanyl, other common opioids first responders encounter also includes heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone and codeine.