PEARL, Miss. (WJTV) — The Mississippi Department of Mental Health partnered with the Pearl Police Department to provide naloxone, a life-saving medication that blocks or reverses the effects of opioid overdoses.
Naloxone, or Narcan, was delivered to Pearl Police Department Tuesday. Officers were also trained on how to use the medication.
“In the last six months, we have distributed over 7,000 units of Narcan to law enforcement and first responders around the state,” said Melody Winston, Director of the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services within DMH. “We have received reports of 35 lives saved by law enforcement officers using Narcan provided through this grant,” stated Winston, “we plan to continue these efforts in 2018, so this life-saving medication is available to all areas of the state.”
The Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services provided the naloxone through funding provided by the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis grant awarded as part of the 21st Century Cures Act passed by Congress in December 2016.
This partnership with local law enforcement agencies is consistent with final recommendations made by the Governor’s Opioid and Heroin Study Task Force.
Pearl Police Department’s spokesperson Lt. Brian McGairty states, “We are very grateful for this life-saving training being provided to our officers, as even our city has seen a rise in overdoses due to opioids. Even if we are able to save one life as a result of this training, we have succeeded thanks to the benefits of this medication.”