Penn State Police Now Carrying Anti-Overdose Drugs
Beginning February 23, Penn State police officers will carry naloxone, a prescription drug that can save a person’s life in cases of opiate overdose, while on duty.
Naloxone, more commonly known by the brand name Narcan, works by initiating withdrawal symptoms in those believed to have overdosed on heroin, fentanyl, and other pill opiates, effectively reversing the overdose.
Penn State campus officers will be trained and certified to recognize the symptoms of overdose and properly administer the drug before they can carry naloxone during a shift. The Penn State Police Department is following the lead of many other police forces nationwide who have begun to mandate their officers carry naloxone while on duty. It is an important stride being taken by the university in the fight against drug abuse and the opioid epidemic, both of which are particularly prevalent in Pennsylvania.
University Park Chief of Police Keith Morris said this program will not only save the lives of students and faculty, but can also protect police officers who may come in contact with these drugs. Officers at Penn State Berks, Great Valley, and Erie campuses already carry naloxone and it is also available at University Health Services.
This initiative is funded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency grant and is marked by police officers around Centre County opting in as well as first responders across the state.