RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – By July 1, all sworn Virginia State Police personnel through the rank of first sergeant will be trained and equipped to quickly respond to dangerous opioid exposure and overdose emergencies.
State police received a grant through the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, so the Virginia State Police purchased more than 2,100 Narcan dispenses for troopers, sergeants and first sergeants across the Commonwealth.
NARCAN® Nasal Spray is an FDA-approved nasal form of naxolone, a prescription medicine. When appropriately administered, the medicine counteracts the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose. All trained state police personnel have been issued two dispensers to carry with them at all times. State police canine troopers have been issued three dispensers, for the protection of their dogs as an opioid exposure poses just as serious a threat to an animal’s safety.
“Equipping our uniformed and investigative personnel with NARCAN® dispensers was necessary due to the continued increase in heroin and opioid overdoses in recent years in Virginia*,” said Col. Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police superintendent. “Having this emergency treatment readily available to our personnel not only helps save the lives of Virginians, but also the lives of our first responders who are at risk of an inadvertent exposure to dangerous synthetic Opioids during the course of their public safety duties.”
On June 17, one Virginian’s life was saved in Lynchburg because of the training and Narcan dispensers.