- Associated Press - Monday, February 24, 2014

CHARLESTOWN, R.I. (AP) - Several Charlestown police officers will start carrying the overdose antidote Narcan amid concerns about an increase in overdoses in Rhode Island.

Chief Jeffrey S. Allen said Monday that seven patrol officers who are also EMTs will be trained and start carrying the drug, also known as naloxone. It can counter the effects of an overdose of opioids, including heroin and fentanyl.

The state health department says 45 people died of accidental overdoses between the beginning of last year and the middle of last week, double the usual number.

State troopers will also carry the drug.

Allen says he expects all 20 of his officers will eventually carry Narcan, if state regulations are changed to allow it.

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