Problematic Behavior Or Activity
Prescribed and illicit use of opiates is on the rise across the United States and in most communities in Oregon. With this increased use comes an increase in deaths from intentional and accidental overdose. Agencies in Oregon and throughout the country are having success in mitigating overdose death and injuries through rapid deployment of naloxone—which can reverse the effects of opiates—by police officers. Police officers are often able to arrive and administer the drug before medics can.
Opiate overdose deaths take an individual and collective psychological toll on members of the community. Drug overdose deaths also represent a budgetary impact that is most significant in small agencies, especially when those deaths result in criminal investigation of the drug supply chain.
The Dallas Police Department has partnered with Polk County Behavioral Health to train every sworn officer on the use of naloxone. A naloxone kit will be deployed with each officer. This is a low-cost program with potential high yield in terms of preventing loss of life and mitigating investigative expenses. The program will cost between $25 and $50 per officer per year.
Based On Research
Concepts for constructing this program included National Search and Rescue Association practices and Problem-Oriented Policing models of community problem solving.
This program will cost between $25 and $50 per year per officer. This cost includes all materials and training.
Critical Success Factors
The requirements to equip officers with naloxone in Oregon are minimal. Typically, the main hurdle is finding a medical professional to assume the oversight and authorization to obtain the drug. Partnering with public health entities is a good way to mitigate associated costs associated. Those health providers may also be able to access funding sources based on their involvement in the program.