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Series on drugs from Northwest News Network.

Life-Saving Spray Being Issued To EPD Patrol Officers

Brian Bull

Eugene Police have a new tool in their efforts to help addicts in crisis: the drug naloxone, which can reverse opioid overdoses.  KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

More Eugene Police are now beginning to carry naloxone nasal sprayers. The EPD has purchased roughly ten dozen 4 milligram bottles, at a cost of $35 apiece.

Officer Jose Alvarez says police are increasingly coming into contact with illicit drugs on patrol, including fentanyl…a synthetic opioid. Besides using naloxone sprayers on drug users, officers can use them on themselves if exposed to residue, needles, and broken containers.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
EPD Officer Jose Alvarez with a naxalone sprayer and demonstration dummy.

“All this really does is take the opiate overdose problem out of the picture, or at least diminish the risks associated with it," Alvarez tells KLCC. 

"There could still be some other medical issues on the table. But if there’s a concurrent opiate overdose this can help alleviate that, and at least give the person a fighting chance.”

Alvarez adds once the scene is secured, paramedics can tend to the victim. Naloxone is also sold in pharmacies under various brand names.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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