Federal Agencies to Carry Naloxone to Help Reduce Opioid Overdoses

By Joe Gullo

Published 07/31 2014 02:33PM

Updated 07/31 2014 02:35PM

WASHINGTON - Federal law enforcement personnel will be trained to carry and use a drug that's been approved to reduce the side effects of heroin or opioid overdose.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made the announcement Thursday.

"For the first time ever I have issued a memorandum urging federal law enforcement agencies including the DEA, the ATF, the FBI, and U.S. Marshals service to review their policies and to review their procedures to determine if personnel within those agencies should be equipped and trained to recognize and respond to opioid overdoses," Attorney General Holder said. "In the coming days, I expect each of these critical agencies to determine whether and which members of their team should be trained to use and to carry Naloxone in the performance of their duties."

Naloxone can restore breathing to a victim in the middle of a heroin overdose.

According to the Justice Department, heroin overdose deaths dramatically increased by 45 percent between 2006 and 2010.

An average of 110 Americans die from drug overdoses every day, more than those killed by gunshot wounds or car crashes.

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