Thousands of New York police officers will be trained and equipped to handle heroin overdoses in response to a massive increase in incidents in recent years, city officials announced Tuesday.
The police are to be armed with naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose, and given training on how it should be administered, Agence France-Presse reports.
“This program will literally save lives,” said New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, pointing out that naloxone had been “stunningly effective.”
The Community Overdose Prevention Program, a drive launched last month, is funding the initiative.
New York City authorities have said that heroin overdoses surged 84% between 2010 and 2012, calling current levels an “epidemic.”
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