As the nation battles an opioid epidemic, the Los Angeles Police Department is expanding a program to supply officers with thousands of doses of a nasal spray to treat overdose victims.
Last year, the LAPD launched a pilot program to train and equip officers to administer naloxone, which blocks the effects of an opioid overdose. More than 6,100 officers now carry the drug sold under the brand name Narcan. Other officers are expected to receive training.
So far, officers have saved 15 people’s lives with the drug, but it did not work in two other cases, Deputy Chief Dominic Choi said. This week, the Police Commission approved the department’s request to accept a $750,600 donation from the California Health and Human Services Agency to pay for 10,008 doses.
“The officers know it’s helpful,” said Choi, who until recently served as the LAPD’s homeless coordinator. “This is really an effort by the department to help people.”
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