New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Cops and troopers around New York State will start carrying a heroin antidote powerful enough to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman unveiled the program on Thursday with a $5 million price tag, which will be be funded through money recovered from criminal and civil seizures from federal and state investigations.
Across the state, more than 2,000 New Yorkers died of opioid overdoses in 2011.
"Heroin is destroying our communities, and it’s time we looked at broader solutions to fight back," Schneiderman said in a statement.
The Community Overdose Prevention program will equip every state and local law enforcement officer with naloxone, and is based off of a pilot program launched in 2012 by Suffolk County, which reportedly revived 184 overdose victims with the kits.
Authorities unfamiliar with the drug also receive training on how to administer naloxone, which will come in a kit estimated to cost $60 with a two-year shelf life. Agencies statewide will be required to purchase the kits for every officer and request reimbursements from the state.
Angie Ruhry's son Peter died of a drug overdose in 2010, but was saved 18 months earlier when officers administered the drug while he was suffering an overdose.
"In the midst of this epidemic that our country is living through it is so wonderful to know that we will all have easier access to the one powerful tool that can help to save lives," Ruhry said in a statement.