On Nov. 2, the Nampa Police Department began issuing Narcan, an opioid antagonist, to trained officers. This product can be used by officers to provide emergency treatment to people who are suffering from a potential opioid overdose (i.e. heroin, opiate based pharmaceutical pills, other opioids).
Training on Narcan and its use also began Nov. 2. The Nampa Police Department intends to have the majority of officers trained by Dec. 3. As officers are trained, this product is being provided to those officers working patrol for use during potential overdose calls or other similar types of incidents.
“We are hearing more and more about an increase in heroin and opioid pill use nationally,” Lt. Eric Skoglund said. “This is also a trend that we are seeing locally, as our narcotics unit is identifying a greater availability of this drug in the area. This drug can be very dangerous because users are not aware of the potency of certain types of opiates.”
Fatal overdoses can occur as a result of the drug causing a victim to stop breathing. “The increased presence of this dangerous drug in our community has prompted the Nampa Police Department to take the step of training our officers to use Narcan, which can potentially save lives” Skoglund said.
Police officers are sometimes the first on the scene and may be in a position to act before EMS arrives.
Emergency Medical Services are still the primary care providers and handle first response to medical calls. In situations where the medical call is a suspected overdose, police also respond. This training gives law enforcement first responders the capability to assist EMS in these limited situations, Skoglund said.
“We know from national trends that the incidents of opioid overdoses are on the rise,” said Dr. Kari Peterson, the Treasure Valley EMS medical director, who has facilitated training for Nampa Police Department. “It has been great to work with such a progressive agency as the Nampa Police Department which has taken proactive steps to protect the citizens of Nampa as well as police officers."
“We are grateful to Dr. Peterson for her oversight of this program and the training she is providing to our personnel. We believe this program is in line with our mission to serve and protect our community,” Skoglund said.
Although NPD officers have not been accidentally exposed to these dangerous drugs in the course of routine handling and testing of evidence, lab and evidence handling personnel are being trained and equipped in the event of exposure.
For further information, please contact Sgt. Tim Riha at 468-5606.