DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Dothan police officers will be equipped and trained to use the lifesaving, anti-overdose drug Narcan by the end of the month.
Training started Tuesday for more than half of the department on how to properly administer the drug. Front-line first responders like patrol officers and narcotics are going through the training.
“In the last couple of years, you’ve seen an increase in officers being affected by liquid opioids. Our response to that is to prepare our officers for a chance encounter like that and have something like that on scene to treat them,” said Dothan Police Department Capt. Will Benny.
If an officer comes in contact with an opioid while responding to a scene, the Narcan will be administered through a spray into the officers nose. The drug is supposed to act as an overdose reversal and reverse the effects of the overdose within 2-3 minutes.
Benny didn’t have exact numbers on how many overdose calls the department receives daily.
He confirmed the department has not had a confirmed case where an officer was exposed to an opioid, but said with more cases across the country of officers impacted when responding to scenes - it was enough for them to take action in securing the drug.
“Anything to protect our officers we’re going to do it. There is nothing more important than safety of our officers and ensuring they go home after a day’s work,” said Benny.
The department worked with the Alabama Department of Public Health to secure Narcan. It costs about $20 per officer. The drug has a shelf life of about three years.