WAKEFIELD – Chief Rick Smith announces that all Wakefield Police Cruisers will now carry Nasal Naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan, to better equip officers who respond to reported drug overdoses.
Narcan, an opioid antagonist, can quickly reverse the effects of a potentially fatal painkiller or heroin overdose by displacing the drug from the receptors in the brain. It has minimal side effects, is not dangerous if administered to a person who is not overdosing, and it has no potential for abuse.
Opioid overdose is currently one of the leading causes of death in Massachusetts, and no community has been immune to the problem. Former Governor Deval Patrick declared it a public health crisis last year.
“Police officers are public servants first, and Narcan will prepare our officers to face the opioid crisis head-on and prevent the tragic loss of life in our community,” Chief Smith said. “Police officers are often the first emergency responder on scene of an overdose, and now they can make a real difference in these situations,”
Chief Smith would like to thank and acknowledge Dr. Daniel Muse of Brockton Hospital who provides medical control for the Narcan program. All Wakefield police officers have been trained in the proper use and administration of Narcan, through a “train the trainer” program in conjunction with Dr. Muse and the MIddlesex District Attorney’s Office.
Chief Smith also acknowledges the work of Deputy Chief Craig Calabrese for his hard work in putting together a program customized to Wakefield and for completing the “train the trainer” program in order to teach other officers how to properly use Narcan.
Nasal Naloxone will be deployed to all marked Wakefield Police Department cruisers.
Narcan is effective against heroin, but also against other opiates like Fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicodin).