Saving Lives: Meriden Police Adding Narcan To Their Response
The city of Meriden is beefing up its response to the opioid crisis in Connecticut by ensuring that police officers are trained in the use of Narcan. Helping that cause is the addition of some 90 Narcan kits donated by a local mental health treatment center.
“This is huge to get officers outfitted with the Narcan because in just a matter of seconds we can lose a life or save a life,” said Sgt. Darrin McKay of the Meriden Police Department.
In Meriden, firefighters and EMS staffers are the designated first responders when there is an overdose. Police are not required to carry Narcan but the city is covering all its bases as opioid abuse is becoming an issue in every community. More than 600 people died of overdoses in Connecticut in 2015 and the numbers are climbing.
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“We’ve had our share of heroin overdoses in town for years,” said McKay.
Rushford, the local clinic that donated the Narcan kits, is also helping to train the officers in identifying the symptoms of an overdose and administering the Narcan nasal spray.
Clinic staff welcomed the enhanced response and say number of overdoses doubles each year.
“It opens up communication,” said Rushford manager Sheryl Sprague. “The police can be seen more as partners where it’s not adversarial.”