State troopers are joining the fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic.
Florida Highway Patrol announced Wednesday that troopers will begin carrying Naloxone, which is more commonly known as Narcan, its brand name. The drug can reverse the effects of an overdose in seconds.
Troopers in Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River counties will be the first ones issued with the Narcan. FHP says this is due to higher numbers of overdose-related deaths in those areas.
More troopers will be issued with Narcan by the end of February. Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes said the move ensures safety for troopers and civilians alike.
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“The FHP is part of a concerted, collaborative effort to combat the opioid crisis, which has a far-reaching impact,” she said. “Safety for our troopers and those we serve has been and always will be the department’s number one priority, and it’s critical that our members can safely perform their jobs to help prevent any unnecessary injuries or deaths in our state.”
The Narcan units are expected to help prevent deaths from opioid overdoses and reverse the effects of those who receive accidental contact with drugs such as fentanyl and carfentanil that can cause death from minor skin contact.
“With the rise of deaths associated with the use of fentanyl and carfentanil, it is important to have this antidote available to our troopers, who are often the first to arrive on scene on Florida roadways,” said FHP Director Col. Gene S. Spaulding.