Ardmore Deputy Police Chief Kevin Norris says the department’s efforts to obtain Naloxone kits has been successful.
Naloxone is the medication that can counter the effects of opioid (pain killer medication) overdose. APD Patrol Division vehicles have been equipped with the lifesaving kits and officers are currently receiving training in how to recognize overdose symptoms and how to administer Naloxone.
“This is a project the police department has been working on for sometime due to the rise of overdoses in our state and city. Wichita Mountains (Prevention Network) was gracious enough to assist us by getting us connected with the right organization to obtain Naloxone kits and training for free,” Norris said.
Marissa Musgrove, WMPN RPC director region 10, said an Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services’ Prescription Drug Overdose grant was used to purchase the kits. Last week APD joined WMPN and ODMHSAS in conducting a “how to use” training.
“We have four officers who have been trained in the use of Naloxone and they will train the rest of our patrol division,” Norris said. “This is just another way our department can serve our community and in the process maybe we can save someone’s life.”
According to Musgrove, “Carter County is currently ranked fourth in the state for prescription overdose deaths by a rate of 22.7 per 100,000. The county has had 55 prescription drug related overdose deaths between 2011-2015.”
The deputy chief said the effort to obtain the kits and the training gave him a new perspective on the problems associated with opioid overdose.
“One thing that I personally learned through this process is that overdoses do not just affect illegal drug users but the elderly, who may get their medications mixed up, or children, who may accidentally take their parent’s medicine. Why would we not want to take part in this program if it means the possibility of saving someone’s life?”