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Pullman police to carry lifesaving opioid overdose-reversal drug

UPDATED: Fri., Feb. 3, 2017, 9:31 p.m.

Spokane Fire Department Medical Service Officer Tim Loncon displays pre-filled dose of Narcan, the nasal spray form of naloxone. Washington agencies currently pay about $30 to $40 per dose. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane Fire Department Medical Service Officer Tim Loncon displays pre-filled dose of Narcan, the nasal spray form of naloxone. Washington agencies currently pay about $30 to $40 per dose. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Responding to a national and regional opioid overdose epidemic, the Pullman Police Department will begin carrying a lifesaving overdose reversal drug.

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, can stop a fatal overdose by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, effectively “kicking out” heroin or other drugs causing life-threatening symptoms. The effect is nearly instantaneous and sends a person into immediate withdrawal for about 30 to 90 minutes.

According to a Pullman police news release there were seven opioid overdose deaths in Whitman County between 2013 and 2015. Since October 2016 there have been three opioid deaths.

Nationwide, 33,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2015.

Pullman police are currently being trained how to administer the drug. Officers will start carrying the drug within several weeks, according to the the release.

The Spokane Fire Department carries Narcan. The fire department administered Narcan 251 times in 2015. The drug is available to anyone in Washington and Idaho without a prescription.

A naloxone kit costs the Spokane Fire Department about $24. Over-the-counter drugs can cost more than $26.


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