By Suzanne Monaghan

GARNET VALLEY, Pa. (CBS) – The Bethel Township police department wants officers to be able to administer a drug that can help prevent drug overdose deaths.

The drug is called “Narcan.”

“It is used to reverse the effects of opiate and heroin overdoses,” explains Ed Miles, Supervisor for Bethel Township, Delaware County. “Police officers are the first ones to actually be able to make it on scene. It could be a few minutes more before an ambulance gets there, but quite frankly, the sooner that this can be administered to somebody that’s in an overdose situation, the better their chances of surviving it.”

Narcan can be given as a nasal spray and Miles says all their officers would take part in the pilot program:

“This is about public safety, this is about saving lives.”

Miles says the cost for heroine has gone down, so usage has gone up:

“In the first two and a half months of 2014, we had already received over 12 deaths as a result of opiate or heroin overdose. If we were to extrapolate that out for the reminder of year, Delaware County would be on track for over 72 deaths.”

The township is waiting on approval from either the secretary of health or the state legislature.

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