Buffalo Police to Carry Life-Saving Overdose Medication

March 4, 2014 Updated Mar 4, 2014 at 7:47 PM EDT

By Hannah Buehler

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March 4, 2014 Updated Mar 4, 2014 at 7:47 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) Heroin related deaths are on the rise in Western New York, as the city has seen a significant increase in drug overdoses this year.

Buffalo Police Officers will now carry an overdose blocker medication called Narcan, which is life-saving to anyone who has overdosed on an opioid drug.

“The month of February was the highest amount of overdoses we have seen since I reviewed them for the last three years,” said Robert Orlowski, a paramedic at Rural Metro Medical Services.

The simple procedure is most commonly injected through a needle or IV, but more recently first responders are being trained on using a nasal atomizer.

“It gets into your body right away” said Orlowski. “It’s a little bit slower than the IV, but just as effective.”

The preventative medication is fast-acting and will only work on those who have overdosed on opioid drugs.

“Within a couple of seconds, you should see a reversal of the patients problem,” Orlowski told Eyewitness News. “If you give it to someone who does not have a true opioid overdose, it will not affect them at all.”

The city chose to have police officers carry this frug because they’re often first on the scene.

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