The Dallas Morning News
Troopers receive training to prevent opioid deaths
The Texas Department of Public Safety on Thursday began specialized training to prevent opioid deaths in the field and equipping troopers with Narcan kits.
A small percentage of troopers have already received the kits — which use the drug naloxone, under the brand name Narcan, to reverse opioid overdoses — but Thursday’s rollout will include all state troopers.
“In an emergency situation, along with the proper training, Narcan provides troopers with another tool to combat opioid overdoses — a nationwide epidemic — while out in the field and waiting on emergency medical care to arrive,” the agency said in a statement. “This tool can also help save the lives of law enforcement or first responders who may be exposed to a lethal levels of substances such as fentanyl on the job.”
DPS officials in 2018 seized nearly 100 pounds of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 100 times stronger than morphine. That amount of fentanyl would contain more than 23 million lethal doses.
Authorities said Narcan has already proved to be an effective tool in the field. Last week, a trooper in Hidalgo County used Narcan on an person who had overdosed on the side of the road as his family was trying to take him to a hospital.
“Through decisive action, the trooper utilized his tactical emergency training to administer Narcan, which ultimately saved this individual’s life,” DPS Director Steven Mccraw said in a statement on Thursday.
Unlike other drugs, fentanyl and even more potent carfentanil can be absorbed through the skin. Amounts as small as a grain of salt can be lethal in humans, so anyone who encounters it, especially in rural, isolated areas, faces substantial risk of an overdose.
“By providing every trooper with a Narcan kit, we are giving them another tool to save lives as they serve and protect their communities,” Mccraw said.