Chief Michael P Murphy
150 Park St.
North Reading, MA 01864
For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
North Reading Police Deploy Narcan to Cruisers, Complete Advanced Training on Usage and Administration
Nasal Naloxone Added to Police Lifesaving Toolkit
NORTH READING — Police Chief Michael P. Murphy announces that the North Reading Police Department has begun deploying Nasal Naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan, to better equip officers who respond to drug overdoses.
Narcan, an opioid antagonist, can quickly reverse the effects of a potentially fatal overdose by displacing the drug from the receptors in the brain. It has minimal side effects, is not dangerous if administered to a person who is not overdosing, and it has no potential for abuse.
Opioid overdose is currently one of the leading causes of death in Massachusetts, and no community has been immune to the problem.
North Reading has experienced three heroin-related deaths, so far, this year.
“As police officers and first responders, we have to face the heroin and opiate problem head-on,” Chief Murphy said. “People are dying in our communities, and the first arriving officer is now better equipped to make a difference in these situations.”
Chief Murphy also acknowledged the strong partnership between NRPD command staff and officers, who worked together closely to develop this program.
Nasal Naloxone will be deployed to all marked North Reading Police Department cruisers that are also equipped with Automated External Defibrillators. Naloxone has been available as an injectable drug since the 1960s, but it’s recent development into a nasal spray makes it easier and safer for first responders to administer.
Every sworn officer in the department completed an intensive training program with Lieutenant Mark Zimmerman and Detective Thomas Hatch on June 23 and 25. Lieutenant Zimmerman and Detective Hatch recently completed a “Train the Trainer” program and educated their fellow officers on the causes of opiate overdose, signs and symptoms of an overdose, and how to properly administer Nasal Naloxone.
The department was issued its initial dosages of Naloxone by the Office of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.
Narcan is effective against heroin, but also against other opiates like Fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicodin).
Chief Murphy would like to thank Dr. Daniel Muse of Brockton Hospital and single out the hard work and dedication shown by Lieutenant Mark Zimmerman and Detective Thomas Hatch who managed the training and roll-out of Narcan and helped develop the department’s policy regarding Narcan and opiate overdose.