Claiming nearly 120 American lives daily, drug overdose is a true national crisis. The main driver of this epidemic is opioid overdose (OOD), which cuts across class, race, and demographic characteristics. Certain groups, including veterans, residents of rural and tribal areas, recently released inmates, and people completing drug treatment/detox programs are at an especially high risk of opioid overdose. Law enforcement officers are on the front lines of the battle against drug-related harm in our communities. The current opioid overdose crisis is no different.
The vast majority of opioid overdoses are accidental and result from taking inappropriate doses of opioids or mixing opioid drugs with other substances. These poisonings typically take 45-90 minutes to turn fatal, creating a critical window of opportunity for lifesaving intervention. Across the United States, law enforcement agencies are increasingly training their officers to carry naloxone in an effort to stem the tide of overdose fatalities.