Tulsa Police Get National Attention For Narcan Use

Monday, October 30th 2017, 11:22 pm
By: News On 6

The Tulsa Police Department is getting national attention from Men's Health Magazine.

An article focused on a powerful medicine that can bring overdose victims back from near death.

Heroin and opioid abuse is a national epidemic, but the national publication focused on Tulsa to highlight what our city is doing to help — in any way possible — a problem that is spiraling out of control.

A 20-page article on what the Tulsa Police Department is doing to help opiate overdose victims was published in the magazine.

"Chief Jordan has lost a brother to a problem that was at least drug-related to some degree and raised his hand and said we will do it," said TPD Officer Tony First.

For a few years now, the city has been dispensing Narcan kits so almost every single officer has one on them at all times.

"I'm hoping by personalizing it and the efforts that police officers are making that the public has a better understanding of the problem itself," First said.

Officer Matt Parker has only been out of the academy for a year, but realizes opiate overdoses are going to be a regular occurrence as he continues his career.

He has had a Narcan kit in his cruiser since day one.

"Which is nice to have that option. If you show up on a call like that you can get in and help before EMSA arrives," Parker said.

There is some pushback from some who believe that Narcan is just enabling addicts.

This is not and enabling system. This is trying to save their life. That is what it is. This is not a therapeutic drug, it is a rescue drug. If we don't do this they die," Parker said.

Next year in Tulsa, TPD will start a pilot program that every time they go on a call for an opiate overdose they will hand out a kit to the family of the victim to keep.

And then they will follow up with what services could be best for them moving forward.