ICJIA Study Narcan Use By Police Departments in Illinois

By Benjamin Cox on January 17, 2020 at 9:36am

A new study by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority finds most police officers in the state are carrying Naloxone to help prevent opioid overdoses. Naloxone or Narcan as it is often called is a counter-active drug to opioids that can often save a person from going into cardiac arrest or suffocate to death from an overdose.

The random sampling in the study received responses from 82 police chiefs around the state. 90% of those surveyed said that officers have the drug on hand and train their officers to use it despite some concerns. Jessica Reicher a researcher from the ILCJIA explains: “They had some concerns about liability issues in administering Naloxone to individuals; and some reported that they thought that Naloxone had the potential to promote misuse [of opioids]. Police chiefs reported that 99% of the officers in their departments were trained to administer Naloxone and 95% of the police chiefs reported formal training on Naloxone administration was required for their officers.”

Departments in the state that don’t have their officers carrying Naloxone cite budget issues, low stock of the drug, and relying more on firefighters and EMS personnel to administer the dose, which usually comes through a nasal spray.