Brookhaven police have a new weapon in their arsenal. One that fights drug poisoning, also known as overdosing, which is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, police say.
The Brookhaven Police Department received a donation of 100 cartons of Evzio naloxone auto-injectors from kaléo, a pharmaceutical company based in Richmond, Virginia.
Chief Executive Officer of kaléo T. Spencer Williamson said he made the donation as part of a commitment to widen access to naloxone. “We are honored to support the outstanding efforts of the first responder community to help save the lives of those who are experiencing an opioid overdose, even through no fault of their own,” he said.
Evzio, which first became available in the United States by prescription in July 2014, is the first and only FDA-approved product specifically designed to treat emergencies involving suspected opioid overdose. Opiod drugs include prescription pain medications like codeine, oxycodone, fentanyl and illegal narcotics like heroin.
“With this donation, we will have an opportunity to make a real difference in the fight against unintentional drug poisoning and overdose,” Brookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura said.
Nearly 17,000 Americans die each year from prescription overdose. Unintended drug poisoning now outnumbers automobile collisions. Prescription opioids can cause a person’s breathing to severely slow down and even stop if too much is taken.
The police now carry pre-filled, single-use, auto-injectors that work by temporarily blocking the effect of an opioid, potentially reversing the life-threatening respiratory depression and allowing the recipient to breathe more regularly.
“The rising number of overdose deaths from opioid-based prescription drugs and heroin is one of the top concerns for our community,” Yandura said. “This new product delivers a potentially life-saving dose of naloxone via a simple to use auto-injector system that is easy to carry and administer to someone experiencing an opioid overdose.”