A partnership between the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center (LEIC) and the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation will help save lives in drug overdoses.
Through their joint effort, Tennessee law enforcement officers are being supplied with and trained to administer an antidote to overdose victims.
Naloxone is a drug that can be administered as a nasal spray or injection to reverse the deadly effects of opioid drug overdoses, which are primarily respiratory arrest. In 2014, more than 1,200 Tennesseans overdosed as a result of opioid addiction.
“It allows law enforcement officers to buy time for people suffering overdoses until emergency medical professionals can arrive,” said Don Green, LEIC executive director. “Naloxone can save lives.”
LEIC began training law enforcement officers on the use of Naloxone on Nov. 1. Up to 600 officers will receive the training this year, including how to apply to receive the drug from the manufacturer.
The Naloxone training program is funded by a $35,000 grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation. The grant also provides $250,000 to purchase Naloxone for Tennessee law enforcement agencies.