PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - New data from the Arizona Department of Health Services shows Phoenix police can tap the state agency to easily furnish the entire department with Narcan, the overdose-reversal drug.

In recent months, the Phoenix Police Department has identified hurdles the agency would have to overcome to expand its Narcan program including maintaining staffing levels while training officers and managing Narcan supplies which can expire.

[RELATED: Advocates get mixed messages on supplying Phoenix PD with Narcan]

The department had also suggested it would have challenges finding a free supply large enough to equip all of their patrol officers with Narcan.

The Arizona Department of Health Services has grants available for free law enforcement Narcan. Arizona’s Family asked AZDHS how many naloxone kits it could provide. The agency said it has enough funding through September to provide 8,000 naloxone kits.

[RELATED: Arizona officers using Narcan to save overdose victims]

“It’s more than what they need. There’s no excuse for it,” says Michelle Hamby, a Valley mom who has been pushing Phoenix Police to provide Narcan to patrol officers.

Hamby has lost two kids to opioid overdoses.

“They’re my inspiration,” says Hamby.

[RELATED: Mom who pushed for Narcan law upset some officers don't carry antidote]

The Phoenix Police Department agreed to an interview Tuesday reiterating the obstacles to expanding their Narcan program, but saying civilians should rest assured, they’re working on it.

“So it is possible and it’s happening,” says Sgt. Vince Lewis with the Phoenix Police Department. “We are working on the details now.”

[RELATED: Phoenix area fentanyl overdose survivor speaks on getting clean]

Sgt. Lewis stressed expanding the department’s Narcan program would happen in phases and would begin with the department identifying funding options for supply like AZDHS. He says once the department obtains Narcan supplies, its intended use will be to treat other officers in cases of accidental exposure to opioids.

[RELATED: Find the nearest place near you to find naloxone]

Right now, a limited number of officers carry Narcan including drug enforcement investigators.

“If the product were to show up on our doorstep tomorrow, we would still have to work out the logistics of getting the training,” says Sgt. Lewis. “To get all of our patrol officers, first responders through training takes a few months.”

[RELATED: Valley mom pushes for access for an opiate antidote]

For Hamby, that’s not enough. She wants officers to be able to use Narcan to treat anyone, including civilians, if they’re overdosing.

“I definitely have not hit a dead end,” says Hamby. “I won’t stop until I have Narcan in their hands.”

On Wednesday, after Arizona's Family aired this story, the Phoenix Police Department said it has applied for a grant to obtain Narcan.

[SPECIAL SECTION: The Fentanyl Crisis]


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



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(4) comments


Just let them OD.


All narcan does is prolong the suffering, mistreatment, and hardship that 'addicts' or drug abusers put on their families and those close to them. When the drug abuser doesn't come back from an O.D. all the damage they've caused can start to heal. The family and those close to the drug abuser can literally start getting better and no longer suffer with the constant worry, the anguish, the stress, mental suffering, and heartache that they live with while dealing with the drug abuser. They can start living their lives again, smiling, and enjoying the good things in life and the good people that are around them. The pain from the passing of the drug abuser will pass but the suffering and damage the family and those close to the drug abuser receive can last a lifetime. Should there be DNR legislation for overdoses of drug abusers? Maybe for a second overdose?


Police officers should not be carrying Narcan. Why do we insist on trying to save self-destructive drug addicts?? The world is a better place without them.



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