Capitol Police to begin training on life-saving drug that stops opioid overdoses

Capitol Connection

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Division of Capitol Police will start training their officers this Wednesday on how to use a life-saving drug to stop overdoses, police officials say.

Officers are learning how to administer Naloxone, commonly known as NARCAN. The drug can quickly get people breathing back to normal if it has slowed or stopped after overdosing on opioids such as pain medicine, heroin or fentanyl. 

After completing training, each officer will be issued a REVIVE! kit from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Each kit has items to help during an emergency. 

According to the Virginia Dept. of Health, the number of opioid overdose deaths has more than doubled over the past 10 years. In 2018, 1213 Virginians lost their lives. 

“With the volume of people that traverse through this complex on a yearly basis, that we make sure our officers are trained properly and do have the right equipment to be able to respond appropriately,” Col. Anthony Pike, the Chief of the Virginia Division of Capitol Police, said. 

On a daily basis, Capitol Police work with other agencies, like Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University’s police departments. Equipping their officers with these kits will help when responding to emergencies, for people who struggle with addiction and if another officer comes into contact with a drug. 

“The exposures have happened to other law enforcement officers, so by us being able to have the training and the equipment it adds another layer of security and comfort knowing that we are able to respond appropriately,” Col. Pike added.

80 kits will be distributed to officers. There are also kits assigned to the K-9 officers’ handlers in case one of the canines is exposed, police officials say. 

Watch Capitol Connection Reporter Sara McCloskey’s full report TONIGHT on 8News at 5

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