TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With a high number of overdoses in Pima County, Tucson police officers will be armed with even more ways to help.
The National Guard and nonprofit organization LPKNC donated 66 cases of Narcan, totalling 132 doses, allowing them more opportunities to save those in an overdose.
Like Officer Ramon Acosta, who currently carries one dose of Narcan to help treat an opioid overdose. Which in most cases can work but in others, it’s only half the help.
“I’ve been a situation when one dose is enough, however like a lot of other officers I’ve been in a situation where one dose isn’t enough," said Acosta.
Numbers have hit new heights in 2020. The Arizona Department of Health Services shows 475 overdoses in March, 466 in May and 422 in June. These numbers are the highest since 2018. But now south-side Tucson police officers will have two doses of Narcan which could hopefully level the playing field.
“We have the means to save that person," said Acosta.
President Jamal Givens of LPKNC said the donation is for those who not only need the extra help one time but for those who possibly need it again in the future.
“Addiction is a disease and people need help and sometimes we realize that we need multiple times of going through something negatively before they can actually push through it," said Givens.
With AZDHS showing more than 1700 opioid overdoses to date in Pima County, it’s aid coming at a critical time.
“It does give people a second chance. Or maybe a third of fourth," said Givens.
Arming those who respond a second chance as well.
“Seconds matter, "said Acosta. "Having this second dose of Narcan that’s going to be provided to us can be really critical in saving someone’s life.”
And to help prevent opioid overdoses, TPD, LPKNC and several others are putting on a prescription drug take back event. It will be next Saturday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at American Eat on Fourth Avenue.
Since many drop off locations have been closed due to COVID, this will be a drive-thru event where you can drop off any unused or new prescriptions so they can be disposed of properly.