Officers to pilot carrying life-saving nasal spray
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A number of Leicestershire Police officers are being offered training in the use of Naloxone – a medical nasal spray designed to save lives of people who have suffered a drug overdose.
From today (2 November), officers in the city centre and Loughborough areas will be able to choose to carry Naloxone following specialised training being provided.
The nasal spray is an emergency antidote for overdoses caused by heroin and other opiates or opioids. The medication works by temporarily reversing the effects of the overdose by reversing the depression of the central nervous and respiratory systems.
In 2005, Naloxone was added to a list of medicines that anyone can legally administer in an emergency to save a life. Since February 2019, Naloxone has been available in a pre-packaged nasal spray.
The Government’s ‘Harm to Hope’ 10-year drug strategy advocates for the wider provision of Naloxone across the UK and as of July 2023, 18 forces have provided officers with the opportunity to carry Naloxone. More than 300 lives have been saved to date as a result.
Following research into areas across the force affected most by drug-related harm, Leicestershire Police will pilot officers carrying the medication in the city centre and Loughborough area.
The carrying of Naloxone by officers is voluntary and full training will be provided to all officers who sign up to the scheme.
The force is working with partners including Turning Point as part of the project.
Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Brown, who is leading the pilot for Leicestershire Police said: “The use of Naloxone in an emergency situation is safe, simple and effective. After seeing the success across other forces and the fact that hundreds of lives have been saved, we wanted to bring this change to Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
“Drugs bring harm to our communities and we continue to work to prevent drug offending and to support those affected by drug use. An officer carrying Naloxone could not only mean that lives are saved but that people affected by drug use are then also given the advice, support and opportunities needed to help them in rebuilding their lives.
“It will be completely up to the individual officer as to whether they do carry Naloxone but we will be providing full training and support to those that do. We will continue to measure the success of the pilot to determine if we then continue this project longer-term.”