Amid Opioid Epidemic, Some Georgia Law Enforcement Can't Afford Life-Saving Drug | WABE 90.1 FM

Amid Opioid Epidemic, Some Georgia Law Enforcement Can't Afford Life-Saving Drug

Sep 25, 2017

Some law enforcement agencies in Georgia say they're having trouble affording a drug that reverses opioid overdoses.

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Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul said his county has been seeing more opioid overdose cases.

Naloxone, or Narcan, is a drug used to reverse opioid overdoses, but Sproul said his department can’t afford as much as he’d like to see for his agency.  

“It’s a very limited number. I mean, we’re not near where we need to be with it,” he said.

State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, said she’s heard from Sproul and others about how law enforcement departments in Georgia cannot afford Narcan. She noted that agencies are also needing Narcan for officers and first-responders too in case they’re exposed to a dangerous opioid while helping someone.  

“It has a lot of down-ticket costs in the opioid epidemic and I think those are the things you’re going to see bubble up during the [legislative] session,” she said.

State lawmakers this year passed a law making Naloxone available over the counter. Unterman said she’ll be looking at the issue of funding Narcan for law enforcement in next year’s legislative session.

A group of state Senators met Monday at a health care task force meeting on opioids.