Updated: 07/22/2014 12:14 PM
Created: 07/22/2014 4:14 AM WHEC.com
By: Rebecca Fath
Local police officers and sheriff's deputies are at Monroe Community College Tuesday to learn how to treat people who overdose on drugs. It's a program funded in part by a new law to fight the state's growing heroin abuse issue.
Inside the training facility a group of officers from our area are learning how to stop a drug overdose using a syringe. The syringe takes a liquid and makes it a mist so it can rapidly be absorbed up the nose.
Today, Trooper Adam Halstead is learning how to use a life-saving nasal spray that he says will change his life in the field. "When you get there and someone is blue, you feel helpless." But not anymore. Trooper Halstead will leave today’s training with intranasal naloxone, a medication used to counteract heroin or other opiate overdoses
Mike Green of the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services said, “We've been doing this since the end of April. We’ve have had eight officers use the drug to reverse the effects of an overdose so far and one of them was 90 minutes after they left the training.”
We have heard concerns this is too much added responsibility on our law enforcement but officials tell us it's voluntary. New York State Police Major Scott Crosier said, “Any time we have opportunity to put a life-saving tool in the hands of first responders, we have to do so.” And doctors say there are no negative effects if accidentally used on someone who isn't overdosing.
The trainings are scheduled through August. They're also learning how to train other officers within their agencies to multiply the reach of the classes.
New laws to fight heroin abuse in New York call for all police and sheriff's deputies to undergo this training.