Thousands of New York City police officers are set to carry emergency medication to save people who have overdosed on heroin or opioid prescription pills.
The $1.2 million plan for 19,500 cops is being paid for by the New York state Attorney General’s Office following a "skyrocketing" increase in the number of heroin overdose cases in the city, according to The New York Times.
The medication, which will be handed out to patrol officers, as well as transit and housing cops, consists of two nasal syringes and two inhalers of naloxone, also marketed under the brand name Narcan. The kits, which also include sterile gloves and instructions, cost $60 each and have a 30-month efficacy.
Saying that the kits will "literally save lives," Attorney General Eric Schneiderman noted that in Suffolk County last year the antidote medication helped to save dozens of overdose victims. The New York City program also follows the successful launch of the antidote kits across Staten Island.
The attorney general said that since starting the program, more than 150 law enforcement agencies across the state are getting naloxone medication, according to the New York Post.
Schneiderman has agreed to use $5 million, taken from criminal and civil asset seizures, to reimburse police departments for the life-savings kits.
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