LAFAYETTE, LA – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry today –
in partnership with Sheriffs, Police Chiefs, and Fire Chiefs –
announced a collaborative initiative to arm first responders with a drug to aid
opioid overdose victims.
Naloxone, commonly called Narcan, is a prescription medication that counteracts the effects of opioids to restore breathing during an overdose. Attorney General Landry’s office, through a $1 million settlement, will make single draw-down doses of naloxone available to first responders who request them. Once requesting agencies submit a brief application to the Louisiana Department of Justice (LADOJ), they will receive a voucher or vouchers which can be redeemed for naloxone at local pharmacies. The naloxone will come at no cost to the agency itself.
“Our office is pleased by this settlement which will help get first responders much needed resources to help fight the opioid epidemic plaguing our State,” said Attorney General Landry. “I am appreciative of the partnership between our office and Pfizer, as well as the continued support from our first responders who strive daily to rid Louisiana of opioid related overdoses and deaths.”
Naloxone works by temporarily blocking opioid receptors and, if administered timely, can reverse an opiate overdose, saving lives. Experience has shown that non-medical personnel are able to administer naloxone with minimal training, enabling law enforcement personnel to act swiftly in the case of a suspected opioid overdose.
The LADOJ will coordinate the transfer of naloxone from Pfizer to local drug wholesalers, who will then distribute the product upon receipt of the DOJ vouchers.
"The Attorney General worked for months to not only come up with a solution, but also a way to implement that solution," said State Senator Fred Mills. "I want to thank Attorney General Landry for coming up with something that the other 49 states couldn't come up with."
"We, along with other communities throughout the country, have seen our heroin overdose cases quadruple," said Lafayette Sheriff Mark Garber. "Equipping our deputies with Narcan will aid our efforts to save lives as we respond to overdose calls. On behalf of Acadiana law enforcement, I want to thank Attorney General Landry for helping us obtain this valuable life-saving tool at no additional cost to our agencies."
This new initiative comes on the heels of the “End the Epidemic LA” informational campaign, launched last month by Attorney General Landry. The website (www.EndtheEpidemicLA.org) offers resources and information to those who may be struggling with opioid abuse or know someone who is.
“We will remain steadfast in fighting back against opioid abuse, misuse, and overdose,” said Attorney General Landry. “This is a real problem that has directly affected our families and friends and it must be stopped in order to make our State a safer and healthier place.”