WILMINGTON — As the opioid epidemic continues to grip the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County, the Wilmington City Council is looking to ensure its Police Department stays prepared.
When it comes to saving lives, the drug known as Narcan is able to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, and the Wilmington City Council wants to ensure WPD has its own supply of the drug. City Council will vote on Tuesday to approve the purchase of 100 units of Narcan and nasal atomization devices.
According to City Manager Sterling Cheatham, “The product is to counter the effects of a heroin overdose and could allow a City of Wilmington Police Officer to provide a lifesaving dose of Nasal Naloxone (Narcan) to an individual who has overdosed on heroin.”
The funding for the Narcan would come from the NC Drug Tax Revenue and cost $4,553, according to City Council’s agenda.
“Due to the growing use of opioids and likelihood of accidental overdose, the police department has made the decision to outfit every officer and civilian staff in these positions with a unit of Naloxone,” according to the agenda.
Police Spokeswoman Linda Thompson said the efforts of City Council are proactive to make sure officers have enough of a supply to treat overdose victims. WPD officers have been issued Narcan for several years now, according to Thompson.
In 2015 Wilmington Police Department first received Narcan as part of an effort to combat the heroin epidemic that has hit the city particularly hard. The first 250 doses of Narcan were in the form of autoinjectors, which were valued at more than $100,000 – the Nasal Narcan is significantly cheaper.
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