ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Twin Cities law enforcement officials are launching a new program to promote the use of a heroin antidote.
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office says it's the first department in Minnesota to take advantage of a law passed in May that allows law enforcement personnel to carry and administer a drug that can temporarily reverse an opiate overdose.
When the law goes into effect in August, officials will receive formal naloxone training.
Minnesota Public Radio reports (http://bit.ly/1t9SgZy ) opiate overdoses have recently skyrocketed throughout the state and country. A supporter of the new law says heroin overdose deaths jumped from just six deaths three years ago to 56 deaths last year.
Local law officials say at least 22 Hennepin County residents have died from heroin overdoses so far this year. They believe the use of naloxone will save lives.
If the Hennepin County program is successful, other counties will likely follow suit.
Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org