Law Enforcement's Role: Debate over giving life-saving drug to a - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Law Enforcement's Role: Debate over giving life-saving drug to addicts

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Should law enforcement officers be responsible for administering an opioid antidote that can help save lives?

As the nationwide debate continues, in San Diego, the Sheriff’s Department its program has been a success.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department was the first agency in California and the western United States to begin using Naloxone, an opioid antidote, after realizing its officers are typically the first on the scene and that time is of the essence in drug overdose cases.

Naloxone is a nasal mist that can reverse the effects of a drug overdose and bring a person on the brink of death back to life.

Lt. Karen Stubkjaer said all field deputies and specialized investigators carry Naloxone. “What I have been told by someone who has actually administered it, is that when they administer it, the person literally just wakes up.”

The end of December will mark four full years of the program, which the department said has been a big success. “We have administered it 69 times since 2014, and saved 58 lives,” said Lt. Stubkjaer.

The department recently implemented an overdose protocol, where investigators go one step further – to find the source of the narcotic.

“The idea of that is to help prevent someone else to falling victim to tainted drugs or dangerous drugs that might bring someone else to tragedy,” said Lt. Stubkjaer.

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