EUGENE, Ore. -- When Eugene police officers apply for the job, they know there are calculated risks that come with serving the public. When it comes to handling fentanyl, those risks become life-threatening.
Now, Eugene police officers will have the option to carry naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan. The drug can instantly reverse the effects of an overdose.
“We do come into regular contact with that, I mean.. Most of the people we arrest downtown have capped or uncapped needles in their pockets. You know, we're exposed to it, I would say daily," Officer Jose Alvarez, Eugene Police said.
When asked what naloxone does Alvarez said, "It basically will knock the opioids out of the receptors in the brain, once it's administered - giving you an effective treatment for roughly two to three hours."
Alvarez estimates that at least 50 Eugene police officers are already armed with naloxone. They all went through a special class to learn about the drug and had training on how to use it. He said, although officers aren't required to carry it, he thinks most of them will.
"I am confident that in a short time, almost everyone will want to carry it,” Alvarez said.
He added that police are usually the first on the scene, followed by fire and paramedics. He said having naloxone will eliminate one of the problems they face right off the bat.