Beginning this month, New Mexico State Police (NMSP) patrol officers in Rio Arriba and Taos counties will be issued naloxone kits for use in treating subjects suspected of suffering from heroin or other opiate overdoses.
Most commonly distributed under the brand name Narcan, naloxone is an opioid antagonist that completely or partially reverses an opioid overdose. Naloxone most often is administered via needle-less syringe through the subject’s nose.
Prior to issuing the naloxone kits to its officers, NMSP ensure that the officers receive specialized training on when and how to administer the naloxone. In conjunction with the New Mexico Department of Health and its own Physician Medical Director, NMSP has implemented a training curriculum and department policy authorizing and managing the administration of naloxone by officers.
The initial training of Department of Public Safety officers will be part of a pilot program developed with the Department of Health with an emphasis in the Rio Arriba and Taos County areas. The first block of officer training is scheduled for June 18 in Espanola. By June 25, the entire patrol district will have been trained in the administration and use of naloxone.
Immediately upon successful completion of training, the officers will be issued a naloxone kit. The Department of Public Safety will be monitoring the program and its effectiveness in the pilot area and plans to expand the implementation of the naloxone project statewide after the program is evaluated.
“This training is a great tool that provides the ability to save the life of someone in distress,” Chief Pete Kassetas said. “We hope through this training we can allow individuals who are addicted to heroin another day to live and combat this serious and devastating addiction.”