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More Columbus Police Will Carry Drug Overdose Antidote

Sam Hendren
89.7 NPR News

Columbus Police say more officers will carry a drug overdose antidote after dozens of heroin users were revived with it during a pilot program.

A Columbus police commander's report on the program indicated that officers administered naloxone 58 times during the six-month program, sometimes giving multiple doses to one person. All but one of the recipients survived.

The pilot program had about 125 officers carrying the reversal drug, also known by the brand name Narcan. The commander says the department intends to widen its naloxone program, and he recommended that participation be voluntary for officers.

Some officers don't want to carry naloxone. The president of the local police union says officers want to save lives but are wary of becoming medical care providers.