ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — The Roseville Police Department is the first law enforcement agency in the Sacramento area to provide every officer with an anti-opioid drug to use in case of an emergency.
“If we can put his medication in your hands and hopefully get it to that person experiencing that overdose, hopefully, you can help save their life,” said Sgt. Jeff Beigh, who helps train Roseville Police Department officers on how to administer the drugs.
The drug is called naloxone, commonly known as Narcan. It’s a quick way to save someone from overdosing on an opioid drug like heroin or painkillers.
Often police are the first to respond to an overdose, and there’s not enough time to get to the hospital. But Beigh says having Narcan handy could be the difference between life and death.
“We come up, simply put the device into their nose and squeeze the syringe part of it,” he explained.
Within seconds, it increases your heart rate and stops the body from absorbing the drug. But how do officers know who to give it to?
Beigh says they look for signs like heavy breathing, pinpoint pupils and drug paraphernalia like syringes nearby. The person overdosing could be an erratic driver, an incoherent pedestrian, or a person who is simply not responsive.
And Beigh says it’s not risky to give Narcan to someone who’s not overdosing.
“It doesn’t matter who you give it to; it’s going to be safe to give to those people, even if they’re not experiencing an overdose,” he said.
Roseville is one of about 12 agencies in the state to have the drug on-hand.
“There’s agencies in Orange County, the Bay Area and here in Sacramento that is starting to roll this out,” said Shaun Rundle, a spokesperson for California Peace Officers Association.
He says San Diego County Sheriff’s Department became the first law enforcement agency to carry the spray in 2014.
“We’re even getting some donations from local hospitals for us to carry it,” Rundle said.
Each dose costs about $45. The Roseville Police Department purchased its doses with grant money from the California Health Care Foundation.
Rundle is hopeful that the city of Roseville can set the standard for others in Northern California.
“I think it’s good because other agencies are going to look to see how it’s going for them,” Rundle said.
Beigh told CBS13 if you have a loved one who is an addict, you can ask a doctor for a prescription for Narcan and have them train you on how to use in an emergency situation.