Contact: Officer Tim Aycock
Public Information Officer
February 14, 2019
Just like most of the nation, the Opioid epidemic is an issue that we have not been immune to in our area. Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die due to an overdose involving Opioids. Over 1,600 North Carolinians died of an Opioid overdose in 2017 which was a 12 percent increase from the previous year (2016).
The medication Naloxone (Commonly used brand name – NARCAN) is an FDA approved nasal spray that is used for emergency treatment of a suspected opioid overdose. This medication is used to reverse the effects of opioids within minutes, which is vital so proper medical treatment can be received. By receiving Naloxone during an overdose event, there is a much greater chance of survival. It is estimated that in cases where Naloxone is used, it reverses as many as 93% of overdoses.
As we continue to see the need to be prepared for overdose situations, Matthews Police Chief Clark A. Pennington decided it was time for officers to be trained in the use of Naloxone and to have continual access to it. “Any tool that we can provide our officers to help save lives is worth looking in to. Given this current crisis that we are in, Naloxone is one of those very important tools to have”, Chief Pennington said.
As of today, Thursday, February 14, 2019, all Matthews Police officers have been trained in what to look for in identifying a possible opioid overdose and the steps to take for the application of Naloxone to attempt to reverse it. All Matthews officers will now be carrying this medication while on duty.
The Matthews Police Department would like to thank Mecklenburg County Medic for their continued partnership. Their generous donation of Naloxone to supply all Matthews officers, as well as provide the needed training, is greatly appreciated. The Matthews Police Department would also like to thank Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) for facilitating this certification course for our officers.
There is a growing concern nationwide of officers being exposed to dangerous narcotics while conducting searches and making arrests. Having Naloxone on hand could not only assist in saving a citizen’s life but an officer’s as well if exposed while performing their duties. In addition, this medication can be safely administered to police K-9’s as they are also at high risk of exposure during the performance of their duties.
As addiction can be an issue for any person from any background, we encourage anyone with an opioid addiction to please seek help immediately. For more information on addiction and available resources, please see the links below.
Opioid Crisis Information (National Institute on Drug Abuse) - https://bit.ly/2j6YEE1
Naloxone Information (National Institute on Drug Abuse) - https://bit.ly/2y0qLgy
How to find Treatment (U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services) - https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/treatment/index.html