June 7 - New York City police will begin carrying large amounts of anti-opiate drugs in an effort to combat a recent spike in heroin deaths. Jillian Kitchener reports.
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Heroin-related deaths have spiked in the U.S., specifically New York.
State records show that opiate overdoses killed more than 2,000 New Yorkers in 2011, more than double the number in 2004.
As a result, the NYPD will begin carrying large amounts of anti-opiate drugs.
Eric Schneiderman made the announcement last week:
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN, NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL, SAYING:
"I'm very proud to announce the New York City Police Department is joining our Community Overdose Prevention Program or COP Program, and we will be providing the NYPD with the funds to equip about 20,000 NYPD patrol officers with Naloxone. Because of this funding, about $1 million, every police officer on patrol in New York City will now be able to carry a Naloxone kit, putting the power to save lives in their hands. This is all it is folks, it costs about 60 bucks, and it saves lives."
Naloxone can instantly restore breathing in people who have overdosed.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DR. JEFFREY LIEBERMAN, CHIEF OF PSYCHIATRY AT NY-PRESBYTERIAN/COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, SAYING:
"Well it's a miracle drug in that it's highly effective and safe, if it's used properly and in the right time frame."
Jodi Lovitt, who lost her son to a heroin overdose, sees its merit:
(SOUNDBITE) (English) JODI LOVITT, MOTHER WHO LOST HER SON TO A HEROIN OVERDOSE, SAYING:
"As of today, over 10,000 lives have been saved due to that drug, so it's not about an opinion, it's about a fact. Could my son have been one of those 10,000? Wouldn't that have been great?"
More than 150 police departments around the state of New York have applied to receive the kits since April. And most have been approved.
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