All first responders in Jefferson County will soon be carrying Naloxone, a a prescription drug used to reverse the effects of opiate overdose.
The doses of Naloxone are being provided by a grant from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. Every law enforcement agency in the county will be trained on how to use the drug before they begin carrying it.
Jefferson City Police officers have already undergone training on the overdose reversal drug, and are now carrying it, according to a post on the department's Facebook page Friday.
The post said, "Officers and detectives received required training from JCFD Chief Lee Turner in the administration of that drug."
The Tennessee Department of Health recently released information about overdoses between the years 2015 and 2016. The data from the Tennessee Department of Health shows 1,631 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses in 2016, the highest number of deaths in state history ever recorded.
The information also identified fentanyl as a primary cause for the increase in overdose deaths.
An overdose dashboard from Tennessee Department of Health shows that Jefferson County had five total overdoses in 2016 with three of those due to opioids. The county also had 71,679 opioid prescriptions for pain.
Tennessee was the 18th state to pass and support a "Good Samaritan" civil immunity law based on the lifesaving overdose reversal drug Naloxone.
In mid-September, Knox County Schools announced Naloxone will be placed in all schools. The school board says that grant will provide 252 Naloxone kits.
Knoxville Police Department has been carrying Naloxone for about two years now.
If you or a loved one is dealing with opioid addiction and want to find help, the Tennessee Deptartment of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has a few recovery program options here.