Seattle police to double access to Naloxone

SEATTLE — Seattle police are getting more lifesaving tools in the battle against the opioid epidemic.

They'll now be able to double the number of Naloxone kits that officers have access to.

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​Naloxone is a fast-acting antidote to opioids.

The drug is injected into the nasal passages, where it quickly enters the bloodstream and reverses the overdose.

"Since launching our Naloxone program two years ago we have saved 24 lives, 24 lives. That is one life saved every month since March of 2016," said police Chief Carmen Best

Today Best accepted a donation of $5,000 from the national Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative to buy 100 additional Naloxone kits.

Bicycle Officer Randy Jokela spoke at today's news conference. He has made four saves.

"We actually know the people, so we deal with them every day and then you come across this so it's personal, it is," he said with emotion.

It's a cause that public health nurse Colleen Keefe also embraces emotionally.

Her 24-year-old son Dylan died from a heroin overdose in June 2016. No one nearby had Naloxone.

"Recovery happens if you are alive, and Naloxone gives you that chance," Keefe said.

Asked about criticism that police officers are being asked to do too much, Best responded, "We're a service, that's what we are, we provide service. It is an opioid epidemic, it's been declared across the nation. How can we not step up and take responsibility and help in this issue?"

Today the U.S. surgeon general said it is not enough for first responders to have more Naloxone.

He issued a rare surgeon general's advisory saying the family and friends of addicts should carry it too.