Man's Life Saved in First Use of Naloxone by Frontline Officers and Staff
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A man’s life has been saved in the first two weeks of a pilot which sees frontline officers and staff given the green light to carry the first aid treatment, Naloxone, as an emergency antidote to heroin or other opiate overdoses.
The detained man became unresponsive whilst with police, and officers suspected an opiate overdose. He was given Naloxone by a trained police officer who was then able to rouse the man before he was taken to hospital. He is now fit and well.
Cleveland Police is the first force in the North East to pilot the use of Naloxone on this scale with the frontline, having previously used it in the custody environment.
Around 150 officers, including Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in Middlesbrough will carry the intra-nasal spray after receiving training and education.
Cleveland Police has been working closely with the Harm Minimisation Team, which includes staff from Middlesbrough Council, Foundations, and Recovery Connections. The Naloxone has been funded under the banner of Project ADDER.
The six-month pilot will be focused on the Middlesbrough area before a decision is made whether to extend to a rollout across the whole of Cleveland.
The main life-threatening effects of drugs like heroin are that they can slow down and stop breathing. Naloxone blocks this effect and reverses the breathing difficulties. It has no effects on those who are not suffering an overdose, making it safe to use.
Detective Chief Inspector Jon Tapper said: “It’s a real positive step forward that we have officers and staff trained in Naloxone and to have saved a life in the first two weeks of the pilot launch is incredible.
“We are working closely with partner agencies under the banner of Project ADDER to reduce drug related deaths and support those at risk of drug overdoses, whilst dismantling organised crime networks that flood our area with illegal substances.
“It has taken over months of meticulous planning to get to this stage of pilot, and we have ensured the support of staff associations and public health agencies.”
Danny Ahmed, Clinical Partner of Foundations added: “It's fantastic that the partnership work between Cleveland Police, Middlesbrough Council, Recovery Connections, and Foundations has already resulted in a life being saved. Middlesbrough is a town with many people vulnerable to a preventable early death and the police carrying Naloxone is only going to result in one outcome - saving lives.
“Reducing the harms that people who use drugs face provides a platform for their recovery from substance use problems and you can't recover if you are dead.”