Friday, January 20, 2017

EDITORIAL >> Police prevent drug deaths

All Jacksonville police officers now carry kits that can stop people from dying if they are having heroin and opiate-based prescription-drug overdoses.

The Clinton Foundation, much maligned during the presidential election, gave the Jacksonville Police Department 84 naloxone medicine kits.

It’s common for police and EMTs across the country to carry the kits these days. About 30,000 people died from prescription-drug overdoses and another 12,000 from heroin overdoses in 2014.

North Little Rock and Benton police officers also carry naloxone kits courtesy of the Clinton Foundation.

The antidote quickly restores overdose victims’ breathing and prevents brain damage.

Heroin arrests have become more common in local police reports. The drug is Afghanistan’s biggest export and has become a cheap alternative to expensive opiate-based prescription drugs, which are increasingly becoming more difficult to attain and are a leading cause of death in the U.S.

“Jacksonville is no different than other areas of the state and country that are seeing an increase in heroin and opiate-based overdoses,” the police department said in its announcement.

Thanks to these kits, the needless deaths of overdose victims will be avoided and their families and friends will be spared from agony.