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State police arming themselves with drug to fight overdoses

February 14, 2014

PROVIDENCE – As health officials called attention to yet another spike of fatal drug overdoses, the R.I. State Police announced that troopers will soon be routinely carrying naloxone, a medicine that quickly flushes opiates like heroin from the body to prevent death.

State Police Supt. Col. Steven G. O’Donnell also called on all municipal police departments to follow suit, saying drug overdoses claimed more lives in the first six weeks of the year than murder in all of 2013.
“So it’s a huge problem,” said O’Donnell. “If there’s any way of helping, the bottom line is trying to save a life. No matter whose life it is, a life’s a life.”

O’Donnell wrote a letter to the Rhode Island Police Chiefs Association urging members to obtain doses of intranasal naloxone for their officers to carry and to seek training in how to administer the drug, as the state police are doing.

Full story appears on page A1 of Saturday's Call and Saturday's Times.

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