The Canton Police Department is taking a proactive step in response to the state seeing an alarming increase in heroin and opioid overdoses. On April 11, 2016 all Canton Police Officers will be equipped with Naloxone otherwise known as “Narcan”. Narcan is a prescription medication that reverses an opioid overdose, regardless of whether that opioid is a street drug like heroin, or a prescription drug like oxycontin, vicodin, or percocet.
Narcan is available in different forms. The most common types are an injection and an intranasal mist. The Canton Police Officers have been trained on the intranasal application version of Narcan and they are authorized under the sponsorship of the John Dempsey Hospital medical control program to carry it.
“The sooner Canton Police Officers or other town emergency first responders can intervene to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, including heroin or prescription drugs, the better chance they have to save a life,” said Police Chief Christopher Arciero.
“This is a critical step in what must be a community-wide effort to combat the spread of a life threatening disease: opioid addiction,” said First Selectwoman Leslee Hill. “We cannot turn a blind eye to the overwhelming evidence that this is not just some other community’s issue. As a region, we need to face the reality of this disease, and work to promote education, treatment, and recovery for our residents. I am grateful to the Canton Police for taking the lead in this important life-saving measure.”
Arciero also added the following:
“The Canton Police Department has a multi-prong approach to this emerging problem. First, by equipping all patrol units with Narcan, we can have an immediate life-saving impact to someone involved in an overdose situation. Second, we want to remind citizens that under CT General Statute 21a-279 (g) there is a “Good Faith Immunity” for those seeking medical attention for another person who is experiencing an overdose. Third, we want to get the message out about treatment and services. Residents can call 1-800-563-4086, go online to www.ct.gov/dmhas/walkins or www.211ct.org for additional information. Fourth, we remind residents that any unused prescription medications can be dropped off at the drug give back box located at the Canton Police Department. Finally, we encourage residents to report illegal drug activity or drug sellers to the Canton Police Department. Confidential or anonymous reporting can be made through the mail, phone calls, emails, or other electronic means.”
“The harmful and potentially deadly effects of illegal drug use and overdose require a proper balance between aggressive enforcement and compassionate assistance to those in need.”