Columbia police officers to soon carry overdose reversal drugs

10 months 1 week 4 days ago Friday, August 11 2017 Aug 11, 2017 Friday, August 11, 2017 7:10:00 PM CDT August 11, 2017 in News
By: Eva Cheng and Nick Allen, KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is giving its officers a new tool in the fight against the opioid epidemic in Missouri. 

It will start distributing an opioid overdose reversal drug called naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, to all of its 173 sworn officers once they are all trained to use it, according to CPD spokesperson Bryana Larimer. 

Naloxone is a nasal spray injected into one's nose when they are lying on their back. It has the ability to help a person experiencing an opioid overdose breathe steadily and return their body to a normal state. 

Larimer said training started around two months ago, and about half of the officers have already been fully trained. She said the department hopes to have the other half trained in the next couple of months.

Missouri Opioid-Heroin Overdose Prevention and Education Project (MO-HOPE) offered almost $8,000 in grant money to cover all of the cost of the drugs.

“MO-HOPE is purchasing it and providing it to our department,” Larimer said.

As for now, the number of doses officers will receive after training depends solely on the grant money.

“As long as the grant will provide it, our officers will then be fulfilled with having those doses,” Larimer said. “So if the grant runs out, then past that, if we would need, for example, any more doses, and the grant runs out, and it’s not renewable, then, we likely wouldn’t have it for some officers.”

She said adding the drugs into the officers’ tool boxes will allow them to better ensure the citizens’ safety. 

“There’s an opioid epidemic, and that’s not just specific to Columbia, that’s nationally,” she said. “So having this tool to able to assist in those situations where they’re responding to these overdoses, again, it’s a life-saving measure.”

The Boone County Fire Protection District and the Columbia Fire Department have both been using naloxone for a while. 

Martina Pounds, Captain of the Boone County Fire Protection District, said the fire district started using naloxone two years ago, and every fire truck now carries an identical medical bag with a Narcan box inside.

“We did a training through our district, so everybody was trained to the same level,” she said.

Pounds said the fire district’s funds cover the cost, and it has used the drugs in about 25 cases.

“If it’s a true opioid overdoes, Narcan definitely works,” she said. “If you don’t give them Narcan, then they can stay in cardiac arrest, and then they can die eventually.”

Pounds said especially in surrounding rural areas where EMS teams usually don’t arrive as fast as they do in urban areas, having firefighters carry the drugs can be helpful because the fire district has stations all over.

“A lot of times you don’t have a medical unit quite that close,” she said.

However, Pounds points out the drugs can only serve as “immediate help” and “pre-hospital care.” She said using naloxone is just a temporary solution, because it has a shorter half-life than heroin.

“Which means it works for a while, but then basically it’s just all used up, and then the heroin’s half-life is longer, so it would reattach itself,” she said.

Pounds said because naloxone wears off pretty quickly, the users still have to go to the hospital, though a lot of times they are not willing to.

“So they overdose, we give them Narcan, and they feel good, because they feel like ‘oh, now I’m fine.’ And they don’t feel a problem with that. So they don’t wanna go to the hospital because they think, ‘well, now I’m fine,’” she said.

Pounds said she has personally witnessed two cases.

“Both times the person woke up immediately. And sometimes, they’re not super happy that we did that.”

Overdose victims usually don’t like being saved by naloxone because it brings them immediately off of their “high.”

“So a lot of them don’t know that they actually were not breathing,” Pounds said. “They don’t know that. So when you bring them back, for them, you just brought them off of a really, really good high.”

Pounds said there is a national trend to increase access to naloxone for first responders.

“A lot of departments all across the country want to carry Narcan as an intervention drug,” she said. “With a lot of the heroin overdoses, and with that being on the rise.”

Larimer said although using medication to assist citizens on the scene is not “usually in the parameter” of what officers do when they respond to calls, CPD is looking forward to the official launch of the new service.

“It’s unique. It’s new. In most cases when you think of a medical response to an overdose, you think of paramedics. You think of firefighters. You know, those first responders. It’s opening up for them as far as learning how to use, you know, a medication essentially.”

Columbia City Council approved police use of naloxone in a meeting Monday night. 

 

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS - An attorney is suing a nonprofit group connected to former Gov. Eric Greitens for its records. ... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:52:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Outside a sprawling mall in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, young single men and women walk... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 6:21:17 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One softball player is setting her team up for success before she leaves for college. On Saturday,... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 4:54:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The discussion on community policing continues to ripple through Columbia after a citywide meeting Saturday. The City... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:31:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating the shooting death of a man near a house in... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 3:12:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said she was kicked out of a Virginia restaurant by its owner... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:47:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The wife of a former University of Missouri football coach is helping her husband remember the details... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:18:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Reaching all generations was the goal of one Columbia woman on Saturday. Cheryl Miller is the president... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 1:03:00 PM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - Two teenage boys suffered serious injuries in an ATV accident Friday night, according to the Missouri State... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:34:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A national gathering in St. Louis in September will focus on election security. Missouri... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 7:54:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Those who approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as the President... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 7:36:33 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in Continuous News
FULTON - The city of Fulton kicked off their annual Street Festival in style Friday with live music, a carnival,... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, June 23 2018 Jun 23, 2018 Saturday, June 23, 2018 2:23:00 AM CDT June 23, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 30-year-old inmate was charged Friday with capital murder in the shooting deaths of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 8:41:21 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - People will see a few more cars drive through town this weekend, as the city celebrates its annual... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 5:41:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE – Police said a technician at a local gas station found an internal skimmer device inside a gas pump... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Fulton man could face more than 200 years in prison after being found guilty of 12... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The U.S. House passed the 2018 farm bill, formally known as the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:49:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
FULTON - Despite rainfall these past two days, statistics show most of Missouri is dryer than usual. Data released... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 3:37:00 PM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
1am 69°
2am 68°
3am 67°
4am 67°