By Bonita Wilborn
Due to current drug activity, many law enforcement departments have found it necessary to equip their officers with medicine designed to counteract fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid as well as other drugs, so that when a person has overdosed the officers can give them an injection that will save their life. Authorities report that officers are seeing more and more fentanyl, mixed with illegal drugs.
According to Rainsville Police Chief Kevin Smith, “While these carry kits do help combat fentanyl overdoses are not just for fentanyl, but for any of the medications that somebody may overdose on as well. We’ve had overdoses here where people have lost their lives due to a fentanyl overdose or an opiate overdose. This is going to save lives.”
Even a small amount of fentanyl can be harmful. It can be inhaled because fentanyl can be airborne. It can also get into your system simply by touching it, or any number of other ways fentanyl can harm someone.
Each officer has to go through training before they can make the carry kit part of their regular equipment. They get step-by-step instructions on how to administer the medicine in an emergency.
Smith said that each of the kits cost $1,600 so it is very expensive medicine, but the department was able to get grant funding to cover the cost of the kits and there’s a kit for every shift to use.