Gov. Malloy: Connecticut State Police Have Saved Nearly 300 Lives Since Inception of Program That Equips Troopers With Overdose Reversing Medication
On Average, State Troopers Have Saved One Overdose Victim Every Week Over the Last Four Years
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the Connecticut State Police have successfully saved the lives of 268 people since the inception of a new program that began on October 20, 2014 and provides state troopers with the training and equipment needed to administer Naloxone Hydrochloride, commonly known as Narcan, which reverses the effects of opioid overdoses.
Prior to October 2014, state law allowed only licensed health care practitioners to administer the medication without being civilly or criminally liable for the action. In response to the nationwide increase in opioid-related deaths, Governor Malloy signed legislation that year modifying the law and authorizing anyone to administer the opioid antagonist as long as they believe in good faith that the person receiving the medication is experiencing an overdose.
Because law enforcement are frequently the first to arrive to the scene of an overdose, leadership at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) utilized this change in the law and began requiring that all state troopers receive training on the administration of the medication. Once trained, the troopers were equipped with Narcan, which is available to them in the form of a nasal spray, and over the last four years they have had it available to them in their vehicles at all times.
“Connecticut’s state troopers are among the best in the nation, and their quick, responsive actions are saving lives,” Governor Malloy said. “Misuse of prescription drugs and other narcotics is an epidemic across our nation – it’s a disease and we must work together to prevent it. Our work on this front is not finished until our communities and our families are no longer struggling with the grave costs of this illness. On behalf of our state’s residents, I thank the members of law enforcement who all too often encounter this problem face-to-face. Not only are these frontline men and women saving lives, but their actions are helping people begin the necessary path toward treatment and recovery.”
“I am so proud of our state troopers,” DESPP Commissioner Dora Schriro said. “Their commitment to the public’s safety and wellbeing is unwavering. But for their intervention, 268 Connecticut residents grappling with opioid addiction would have died. Because of the actions of Connecticut state troopers, our neighbors have a second chance to live, and another opportunity to strive towards sobriety.”
Since the start of the program, the Connecticut State Police has administered the medication in similar amounts to both males and females, ranging in age from 14 to 83 and encompassing all races and ethnic groups. More than half have been at home when they lost consciousness, however troopers are seeing an increasing number of people who have overdosed while operating a vehicle.
In addition to training state troopers on the administration of the medication, DESPP provides training to all local law enforcement departments that seek their services. Additionally, the Connecticut Fire Academy in Windsor Locks has conducted train-the-trainer classes to fire department personnel throughout the state to prepare both career and volunteer firefighters on how to assist people experiencing an opioid overdose.
To help prevent the misuse of prescription medications and other narcotics, all Connecticut residents are urged to utilize the availability of drug collection boxes that are strategically located across the state and are a safe place to anonymously dispense of any unused drugs with no questions asked. Drop boxes are located in the lobby of every Connecticut State Police troop barracks, as well as the offices of certain local police departments and other locations. For a map of drug collection boxes, click here.