|Loyola University Medical Center in conjunction with Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is excited to announce the Law Enforcement Narcan® Program which will equip more than 1,900 officers from 30 suburban Cook County police departments, Cook County Sheriff’s Department and Cook County Forest Preserve Police to administer Narcan®when they encounter someone overdosing from opioids.
Narcan® counteracts the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose.
“Opioids are a public health scourge that afflict residents throughout our communities and that we must confront,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Putting an antidote in the hands of our first responders and training them how to properly use it will save countless lives.”
In Cook County, there were more than 1,000 opioid deaths in 2017. The Cook County Health & Hospitals System saw more than 5,000 opioid-related emergency department visits in 2016, up from 1,000 visits in 2006.
Loyola Medicine’s Mark Cichon, DO, chair of emergency medicine and director of emergency medical services, said the train-the-trainer Law Enforcement Narcan® Program (LENP) is one of the first in the state to have direct medical oversight.
“It is vitally important that our police officers know how to recognize someone suffering an opioid overdose and act quickly to safely administer the overdose reversal drug,” Dr. Cichon said. “This program will create a standard of care and a consistency from one police department to the next so we can all tackle this epidemic together.”
Three training sessions have already been conducted. Officers with the Bellwood Police Department put their training to use within days.
“When minutes make the difference, it means the world to us to have this ability to save lives,” said Bellwood Acting Police Chief Jiminez Allen.
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