- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) - Indiana State University Police are the first higher education law enforcement division in the state to learn how to use a drug that can revive people who overdose on opioids or heroin.

A nurse practitioner and recent graduate of the school’s Nursing Practice doctoral program taught 26 officers how to recognize an opiate overdose and administer naloxone Tuesday in Terre Haute. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and state Sen. Jim Merritt also attended the training to show their support.

Merritt was co-author of the Indiana Lifeline law passed last year to allow first responders to administer the intra-nasal drug during overdose emergencies.

Zoeller went to the training to congratulate school officials for “stepping up to show that the campus/university is going to be a leader in training their law enforcement to be first on the scene with the ability to save the life of someone” who’s overdosing on opioids, the (Terre Haute) Tribune-Star (https://bit.ly/1HLFgnN ) reported.

Naloxone is an opiate antagonist that counteracts the effects of prescription painkiller or heroin overdose within two to five minutes, according to a press release from the Indiana Attorney General’s office.

“They (first responders) can save a life simply by administering this up (the patient’s) nose,” Zoeller said. “It’s really a great opportunity for the men and women who serve and protect to also save a life.”

Not everyone who suffers an opiate overdose fits the description of a typical drug abuser, and about 77 percent of people who do began taking opioids after receiving a doctor’s prescription for pain, according to Zoeller, co-chair of the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force.

More than 1,000 Marion County residents have been saved by naloxone in the year since the law was passed, Merritt said.

Implementation of the program on the Terre Haute campus could take place in the next two weeks, according to ISU Police Chief Joe Newport.


Information from: Tribune-Star, https://www.tribstar.com

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