More and more reports seem to be flooding the news regarding the ongoing fight against the heroin epidemic that has struck much of the country. Heroin is becoming a larger and larger issue in the United States due to the easy access (and frequently unnecessary prescriptions from doctors), the high chance for addiction and abuse, and the high price involved in getting pills. As heroin becomes more and more prevalent, and rates of addiction go up, governments across the board (both at the state and federal level) are working hard to both stem the tide of addiction, as well as provide the necessary treatment and guidance for those who need it.
The Sarasota Sheriff’s Office is going to be the first law enforcement agency in Florida to receive funding from a new law that is aiming to fight heroin on a series of levels. This new law will allow officers to administer medication to people who are overdosing on heroin and other opioids and drugs. The officers have received 800 doses of EVZIO — an auto-injector of naloxone, which immediately stops the effects of a heroin or opioid overdose upon injection — in a donation from the manufacturer of the drug, Kaléo. The donations amount to about $320,000 and the drug is both easy to use and provides no harmful side-effects to people who aren’t overdosing but have been injected by accident.
With 99 deaths due to opiate overdose in 2014 and a much higher number expected for 2015, these drugs and the training officers will receive will be truly life-saving. While the drug won’t cure addiction (it will only help fight overdoses), it will allow victims to survive, recover, and give them more time with their family and loved ones, increasing the chance that they will enter a treatment program. This is the perfect example of laws cutting through bureaucracy and finding bipartisan support for a cause that is obviously in need of tackling. Hopefully the price for individual doses of this medicine will decrease (it’s still high and preventing other counties from taking advantage of this law) so that more doses can be used to save more lives.
If you’d like to read more, the link is here.