BEATRICE – With opioid overdose cases on the rise, Beatrice Police will be equipping officers with a life-saving mist, joining a still rare number of departments in Nebraska.
Through a partnership with the Beatrice Community Hospital Foundation and Clabaugh Pharmacy, patrol officers and other department members will begin carrying Narcan nasal spray, an FDA-approved form of naloxone that counteracts the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose.
Beatrice Police Officer and K-9 Handler Anthony Chisano says local first responders have seen about 25 overdose cases so far, this year.
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Chisano says he’s seen the effectiveness of Narcan on at least two overdose occasions.
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The nasal spray is not just for saving overdose victims, but in cases of contact with fentanyl by officers, it’s an insurance policy for police, as well.
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Chisano says Narcan, given to someone who is not experiencing an opioid overdose, causes no adverse reaction.
Beatrice Police Patrol officers and other department members are just beginning their training on the use of Narcan. Clabaugh pharmacy helped with research of the program and providing the mist at what Chisano says is a deeply-discounted price, and the hospital foundation assisted with financial support to carry out the program.
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The Narcan initially costs about $750 for six spray mist kits. The shelf-life of each kit is anywhere from two to five years, depending mainly on heat exposure. In Nebraska, other agencies whose officers are carrying Narcan include Omaha Police and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department, the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Department and Nebraska State Patrol.
Narcan has been used by Beatrice Fire Department members, on occasion. Including police officers is expected to reduce response time somewhat, since officers are regularly on patrol and often are the first to reach an overdose victim.