Navigation Links
Changing laws, attitudes of police response to drug overdose may lead to better outcomes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. A recent study from Rhode Island Hospital has found that a change in the way police respond to drug-related overdose emergencies could contribute to improved outcomes of the victims and to the communities where overdoses occur. The study found that while law enforcement officers often serve as medical first responders, there is a lack of clarity as to what police can do, or should do, at the scene of an overdose. The study is published online in advance of print in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

The study included interviews to better understand and prevent nonmedical prescription opioid use and overdose deaths in areas of Rhode Island and Connecticut that are experiencing overdose "outbreaks."

"Police officers are often limited by available resources or protocol when it comes to responding to overdose," said principal investigator Traci C. Green, Ph.D., a research scientist in Rhode Island Hospital's department of emergency medicine. "While some expressed negative attitudes toward people who use drugs, others were empathetic and simply frustrated with the lack of drug treatment, the cycle of addiction, and the ease with which people can access drugs in their communities."

Green continued, "Overdose prevention and response, which for some officers included law enforcement-administered naloxone, were viewed as components of community policing and good police-community relations." Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is the standard antidote used by paramedics to stop overdose and restore breathing in an overdosing victim. Some communities, like Quincy, Mass., have seen expansion of first responder administered naloxone to include police, an effort supported by the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy as part of addressing the prescription opioid epidemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses are caused by prescription painkillers, or opioids. In fact, there were 14,800 opioid overdose deaths in 2008, more than cocaine and heroin combined. And in 2010, more than 12 million people in the U.S. reported using prescription painkillers either without a prescription, or to get high.

Opioid pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and fentynal, are the most commonly involved type of drug responsible for unintentional drug overdose. These types of overdose have increased significantly in rural and suburban areas, where individuals have less immediate access to emergency medical care. In these areas in particular, providing law enforcement with the tools and training necessary to administer naloxone to reverse a drug overdose could have a significant impact on the death rate from unintentional opioid overdose.

"Educating the public about overdose incidents, the prevalence, and the importance of prevention could go a long way toward aligning public health and criminal justice objectives, and ultimately reducing the number of overdose deaths," Green said.

Green continued, "In addition to saving lives, providing law enforcement officers with naloxone, and proper training for administration may also improve the relationships between law enforcement and their respective communities."


Contact: Ellen Slingsby

Related biology news :

1. Costs for changing pollution criteria in Florida waters likely to exceed EPA estimates
2. Beating famine: Sustainable food security through land regeneration in a changing climate
3. Athletic frogs have faster-changing genomes
4. 50 years of bird poop links DDT with changing bird menus
5. University of Minnesota startup offers game-changing energy solutions that reduce CO2 emissions
6. Nitrogen pollution changing Rocky Mountain National Park vegetation, says CU-Boulder-led study
7. Deadly liver cancer may be triggered by cells changing identity, UCSF study shows
8. Back to the future: A new science for a changing planet
9. Satellite images tell tales of changing biodiversity
10. Did the changing climate shrink Europes ancient hippos?
11. Changing climate, not tourism, seems to be driving decline in chinstrap-penguin populations
Post Your Comments:
(Date:5/6/2017)... 2017 RAM Group , Singaporean ... breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are based ... by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor will ... chains and security. Ram Group is a next ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, has developed ... the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ® , ... showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big Sight April ... Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of the M820 ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... 13, 2017 According to a new market research ... Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and ... is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD ... 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... BioMedGPS announces expanded coverage of SmartTRAK Business ... US Hemostats & Sealants. , SmartTRAK’s US Market for Hemostats and Sealants module ... and biologic sealants used in surgical applications. BioMedGPS estimates the market will grow ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , ... October 11, 2017 , ... Personal eye wash is a basic first aid ... at a time. So which eye do you rinse first if a dangerous substance enters ... Plum Duo Eye Wash with its unique dual eye piece. , “Whether its dirt ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are the ... million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by air ... one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , “I ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... For the second time in three years, ... Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled to Washington, D.C. Tuesday, October 10th, ... mission is to change the trajectory of STEM education in America by dramatically ...
Breaking Biology Technology: