Police continue to use Narcan

Published 9:52 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018

In two years since the introduction of naloxone nasal spray to the Suffolk Police Department, the kits have been used 28 times.

The police department received the kits July 1, 2016, and they were made available to police officers because they are typically closer to the scene compared to Suffolk Fire and Rescue.

“The kits are carried by officers during their shift every day. The kits are always available for use, however, it does not mean that they get used every day,” spokeswoman Diana Klink said in an email.

Email newsletter signup

The nasal spray immediately reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, which can include breathing problems and loss of consciousness and may eventually lead to death.

The department originally received a $5,000 grant from the Obici Healthcare Foundation to purchase 60 two-dose packs, but department is now funding the naloxone nasal spray through a grant from the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, Klink said.

Since the introduction of the nasal spray in 2016 until June 30, 2018, Suffolk Police have received 74 calls for overdoses, and they have used the nasal spray 28 times.

According to Klink, the calls decreased from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2018, but she did not provide a specific number or a reason for the decline.

The city of Suffolk has seen roughly a 50-percent success rate with the nasal spray since Jan. 1, 2018.

“From Jan. 1, 2018, to present, Narcan has been used eight times, and we’ve had four saves from those eight,” Klink said.

The police department continues to provide preventive measures for opioid awareness.

“The department is providing educational training to high school students on opioid awareness, and the department provides opioid awareness educational brochures to victims and to victims’ families,” Klink said.