Chief James X. Fitzpatrick
90 Lowell St
Lawrence, MA 01840
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Lawrence Police Department to Equip All Officers with Nasal Narcan
LAWRENCE – Chief James Fitzpatrick is pleased to report that the Lawrence Police Department will now carry nasal Naloxone (Narcan) in an effort to save lives when responding to reported drug overdoses. The department will receive a $35,000 grant from the Department of Public Health to train, equip and outfit all Lawrence police officers with the life-saving drug.
Narcan, an opioid antagonist, can quickly reverse the effects of a potentially fatal painkiller or heroin 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 overdoses are currently one of the leading causes of death in Massachusetts and no community is immune to the problem. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has made addiction education and prevention a priority for his administration.
“Our officers are often the first responders at the scene of an overdose,” Chief Fitzpatrick said. “By supplying all of our police officers with Narcan, we can help prevent the tragic loss of life due to addiction in our community.”
The department’s new policy, which the City Council voted in on Dec. 20, is one of many steps the Lawrence Police Department is taking to combat the opioid epidemic.
In addition to Narcan deployment, Lawrence Police are expanding education and awareness training throughout the department, and working with Lawrence Public Schools students, as young as fifth grade, to make them aware of the dangers of drug and alcohol use and peer pressure, while also building self esteem.