Drug overdose kits result of lifesaving teamwork

In the past 10 months, local police officers have used an antidote for drug overdoses 14 times, potentially saving lives.

Local law enforcement agencies and Johnson Memorial Health were honored by the state attorney general this month for their use of naloxone, a drug that helps reverse drug overdoses.

Officers with all nine police departments in Johnson County carry the drug, which reverses the effects of an opioid drug overdose, such as heroin. Johnson Memorial Health provided officers with 221 kits used to administer the drug in March of this year.

Police officers are the first responders to most calls, making their access to naloxone important in helping people who may potentially overdose, Sheriff Doug Cox said.

“A lot of times, we are first on the scene,” he said.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller applauded local officers for their use of the drug as part of a call to all law enforcement agencies in the state to train and equip their officers with naloxone as a response to rising overdose deaths in the state. At least 170 lives have been saved statewide by the use of naloxone, which 56 agencies across the state carry, according to a news release from the attorney general’s office.

Johnson County’s use of the drug antidote can be looked at and studied by other counties while implementing their own programs, Zoeller said.

“We have a huge problem, and quite frankly, we would need to be prepared,” Zoeller said.

It’s good to know that local police are well prepared, but sadly use of the antidote drug means abuse of other drugs. We’re sure emergency responders would be glad to haul around unused doses of the drug if that meant they were never needed.

In the meantime, we can take assurance in the fact that police have this humane weapon at their disposal in the war against drug abuse.

At issue

Local law enforcement officers carry doses of an antidote drug to use in opioid overdose cases.

Our point

While it would be great if the antidotes were never needed, the fact the drugs are readily available will mean lives can be saved.