In the last several years, public safety officials say cities around Minnesota have seen an uptick in opioid overdoses. Maple Grove is no exception, which is why the department put Opioid overdose kits containing Narcan into 25 patrol cars.
"It's really easy to administer, this is the nasal applicator," said Maple Grove police Capt. Dan Wills, as he pulled a bottle of Narcan out of a bag. "The officer will remove this from the package, put it in a patient's nose, push the button, and within seconds the patient usually comes back. And then we administer other first aid to make sure that we can get them the treatment that they need."
Prior to October, Maple Grove police had to rely on paramedics from North Memorial to administer the nasal spray, but during an opioid overdose, experts say the difference between life and death could be a matter of minutes, which is why officers started carrying Narcan last fall.
In that time span, officers have saved the lives of five people who were overdosing on opioids, while paramedics saved another two in Maple Grove.
"Of the seven we had, five of them were heroin overdoses," Wills said. "A couple of them were prescription drugs that people have laying around the house that people have stolen from parents or grandparents that are laying around. So typically it's heroin, but it can be any kind."
Experts say that prescription drug abuse is often a gateway to opioid addiction, so Capt. Wills wanted to remind people that they can now dispose of their unused prescription medicine at the Maple Grove police station. A drop box is located in the main lobby, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Jan. 23, 2017