St. Louis County Police Chief Wants Heroin Antidote in Squad Cars

CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOX) – The St. Louis County police chief wants officers to have a new tool to help save the lives of heroin users.

With 55 heroin deaths thus far this year in the county, Chief Tim Fitch wants officers equipped with a heroin antidote nasal spray they could use to revive overdose victims.

“We think it’s worth a try, even if we save one life, I think it’s worth it. What we do know is that people who are brought back from the brink of death in these particular cases rarely do this again,” Fitch says.

According to the chief, St. Louis County officers get to the scene of a heroin overdose before an ambulance in about 30 percent of cases.

The nasal spray antidote is carried by police in several departments around the country. In a report last year, Suffolk County, New York officers said the intranasal naloxone had saved 15 lives. Fitch cited similar success in Quincy, Mass.

“It’s promising. If you can get someone back to life and you can get them into rehab and they can be successful in rehab, they can clearly be – and I’ve met many of them during our town halls – can clearly be productive members of society,” the chief added.

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