(The following is a press release from the Vermont State Police)
The Vermont State Police have announced an initiative, in which state troopers will be trained in the use of Naloxone for a person experiencing an opium-based drug overdose. Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, is a safe and effective opioid antagonist medication; which is administered by spraying a fine mist up the person’s nostrils.
“As first responders on emergency incidents, troopers play a pivotal role in quickly reversing the life-threating effects of an opioid overdose,” said Colonel Tom L’Esperance, director of the Vermont State Police. “The use of Naloxone is one more step in the process of creating a community response to opiate abuse and misuse.”
The state police initiative dovetails with the Vermont Department of Health’s (DOH) Opioid Overdose Prevention Pilot Program, in which emergency overdose rescue kits are available to family members and others who may be in a position to help in the event of an overdose. The DOH program, mandated by new legislation, is squarely aimed at curbing drug abuse and enhancing treatment resources.
State police officials will work the DOH and Dr. William Roberts, Medical Director at Northwestern Comprehensive Pain Management, to develop training consistent with approved medical protocols; while also pursuing best practices in the use of Naloxone established by other law enforcement agencies in the United States that will be practical for Vermont state troopers. The training will focus on the signs and symptoms of an overdose; and understanding the role that Naloxone plays in counteracting the life-threating effects of an opioid.
In an effort to get the process started, Vermont State Police command staff attended a seminar in January 2014, presented by Dr. Roberts, outlining the use and benefits of Naloxone.
The goal for all Vermont State troopers is to be trained in the use of Naloxone by the spring 2014.