WASHINGTON Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:14am EDT0 Comments Tweet Share this EmailPrint Related Topics U.S. » Health »
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. law enforcement agents who deal with heroin addicts may begin carrying the drug naloxone to reverse overdoses, the Justice Department said on Thursday, responding to a surge in heroin use in the United States.
Attorney General Eric Holder said he urged federal law enforcement agencies to identify those workers and determine whether they should be trained in how to administer the medication.
The move will "pave the way for certain federal agents - such as emergency medical personnel - to begin carrying the potentially life-saving drug," the Justice Department said in a statement.
Naloxone is a drug that stops opioids such as heroin from reaching receptors in the brain, which may reverse an overdose.
Holder said in March his agency was stepping up efforts to stem sharp increases in deadly heroin overdoses, trafficking in the drug and abuse of prescription narcotics at the root of what he called an "urgent public health crisis."
More than 16,000 people die each year from prescription opioid overdose in the United States, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
(Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bill Trott)FILED UNDER: U.S.Health Tweet this Link this Share this Digg this EmailPrintReprints We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/Comments (0)Be the first to comment on reuters.com. Add yours using the box above.
View the Original article