KINGMAN, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Across the country, more than 630,000 people died from an overdose between 1999 and 2016. That's 115 Americans every single day. In an effort to reduce those numbers and save lives, the City of Kingman and Mohave County have a new tool.

Kingman PD Narcan kit

Officials say the Kingman Police Department was the first in the state to have its officers carry Narcan kits. Narcan, a brand name for naloxone, is a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Now, Kingman Police Chief Rusty Cooper is excited about the new program to fight the war on drugs.

How naloxone works to save opioid overdose victims

"Opioid use disorder is not just the junkie in the alley anymore," Cooper said. "Now, it could be the young football player that has an injury. And then he accidentally gets addicted to this medication or those pain pills, which can progress, ultimately, to the more illicit drugs."

When a suspected overdose call comes in, the new Overdose Data Mapping Application allows 911 dispatchers to enter specific essential information into the system in real-time. Those details go out to several agencies, which means first responders can get to the patients faster and more efficiently.

ODMAP

"The system is designed to minimize the effort and time required by a first responder to enter data," explains ODMAP.org.

"It gets us into the community so much faster," Cooper said. It also allows agencies to place resources where they can do the most good.

The Kingman Police Department is one of more than 400 agencies in 29 states using the system. It's only been in use in Kingman since October, but already it's been instrumental in 40 "naloxone saves."

"It is, to me, it's the Band-Aid of the future that everybody needs to have," Bob DeVries said of naloxone. DeVries was the Kingman police chief for 17 years. He retired last year and now is the director of the Mohave County Substance Treatment and Prevention Program. It's one of the agencies using ODMAP to get naloxone where it's needed in a life-or-death situation.

"Even if the person isn't breathing, the chemicals will absorb into the body, and it's almost a miracle to watch how quickly that reversal can take place," DeVries said.

Kingman police officers have been carrying Narcan kits since 2016. They believe those kits and ODMAP together are the solution to getting help to those who need it, giving first responders a chance to save lives.

The opioid epidemic has changed how we view and treat drug addiction.

"There are those that are doing it for illicit purposes; they're trying to make money," Cooper said. "But oftentimes -- more than ever before -- it's people that just [overdosing] by accident, and they need help. So, we're there to help."

"It's very sad. It's changed how we approach things," Cooper continued. "It's non-judgmental. It doesn't come with a stigma as much anymore. We use terms like 'opioid use disorder' because that's truly what it is -- it's substance use disorder."

According to ODMAP.org, agencies in eight of Arizona's 15 counties are using ODMAP.

(Jump below map so see list of agencies by county)

Participating agencies by county

  • Gila County
    • Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center
    • Counter Narcotics Alliance
  • Maricopa County
    • AZ Southwest Border HIDTA
    • Queen Creek Police Department
  • Mohave County
    • Kingman Fire Department
    • Mohave County Sheriff's Office
  • Navajo County
    • Winslow PD
  • Pima County
    • Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center
    • Counter Narcotics Alliance
    • Marana Police Department
    • Oro Valley Police Department
  • Pinal County
    • Casa Grande Police Department
    • Pinal County Sheriff's Office
  • Yavapai County
    • Cottonwood Police Department
    • Partners Against Narcotic Trafficking
  • Yuma County
    • Yuma County Sheriff's Office

This publication was made possible by grant number H79TI083320 from SAMHSA. The views, opinions and content of this publication are those of TalkNowAZ.com and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS.


Copyright 2021 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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