By Kim Glovas
MEDIA, Pa. (CBS) — Delaware County officials are supporting legislation that would allow police officers to administer a drug to reverse opiate overdoses.
Delaware County district attorney jack Whelan and the County Council want officers in their jurisdiction to be able to carry naloxone, also known as Narcan, a drug which can reverse a heroin, oxycontin, or other opiate overdose, and bring that person back to life.
Right now, Pennsylvania does not allow law enforcement to do that. Seventeen other states allow police officers to administer the drug to overdose victims.
“We need a change in the law to allow police to utilize narloxone,” Whelan said today, noting that in the last two years Delaware County recorded more than 50 deaths each year from opiate overdoses.
He says 2014 already looks even worse.
“We have 12 deaths directly related to heroin abuse (so far) and at this rate we’re going to exceed the rate that we have been experiencing over the last two years,” he said.
Whelan says police officers are usually the first responders to drug overdoses, and this tool could help save more lives.