Police in Philadelphia will soon have access to more of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone because of a $50,000 donation.
District Attorney R. Seth Williams said that his office secured the donation from Independence Blue Cross and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, and it will be used to equip more officers with naloxone, a prescription medication that mitigates the effects of an opioid overdose.
“This means that we can save more lives and help our city better respond to the destruction caused by heroin,” Williams was quoted in a statement from the DA’s office.
Naloxone is not addictive and does not deliver a high, the DA’s office added, also stating that more than 1,000 Philadelphia police officers have been trained to use Naloxone, resulting in 125 avoided overdose deaths.
“When we consider that naloxone has been administered by emergency medical services in almost every ZIP code in our city, there is no doubt that this life-saving drug will make a difference,” Williams stated.
Philadelphia’s drug overdose rate is the highest in Pennsylvania, according to the DA’s office. Of the more than 650 overdose deaths in 2014, 370 had prescription opioids in their bodies.
"This is a great piece of equipment that allows our officers to save lives in a way that we couldn’t before concerning heroin overdoses,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross added in the DA’s statement.