LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Opioid and drug use is a nationwide epidemic and now first responders in the state of Louisiana will be equipped with a life saving tool to help keep overdose related calls from turning fatal.
“Louisiana is in one of the top ten states of drug overdoses by opioids,” Attorney General Jeff Landry said.
Monday, Attorney General Jeff Landry announced an agreement with Pfizer that will allow first responders to carry naloxone.
“When someone has overdosed, they will have the ability to immediately administer this drug to them basically saving that person’s life,” Landry said.
Naloxone is a medication that counteracts the effects of an opioid drug overdose.
State Senator Fred Mills said naloxone is very effective.
“If you’re not on an opioid and you do the injection, and say you’re on any other type of medication, it’s as though you injected water into your blood stream. it will not hurt you what so ever.”
“My office was already looking into obtaining and issuing these to our patrol deputies,” Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber said.
Garber said this will significantly change they way first responders react to these calls.
“A lot of times we find ourselves in situations where the fire department, the paramedics will not come in because the scene is not secure yet. and that’s where this is going to come into play most often for police and sheriff’s deputies.”
Landry said first responders should be trained and carrying the drug within the next 60 days.
Officials said naloxone has to be given within a certain time frame to be 100% effective.
Although it’s not foolproof, it can increase a person’s chance of living.
The state will receive one million dollars worth of naloxone.