This week Monroe Police Department offered training and distributed Naloxone to its officers in an effort to help them combat the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation. MPD was able to do this as a result of a grant for $1,575 that it was able to secure it through Project DAN (Death Avoided by Naloxone) and the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation.
MPD officers will be able to carry this Naloxone with them to help save the life of a person experiencing an overdose reaction from opioid exposure. It is extremely effective in preventing and treating someone suffering from an overdose of or exposure to opioids. Police officers and first responders are themselves in danger from exposure to this drug.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab recently identified counterfeit pills related to the reported opioid overdoses in the central Georgia area. According to the GBI, some of these pills contain a mixture of two synthetic opioids – cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700. Cycloproyl fentanyl is chemically similar to fentany and U-47700 is a synthetic opioid that is 7.5 times stronger than morphine. These pills have been linked to several overdose deaths in Georgia. Both of the drugs found in these pills are highly dangerous and should not be handled. They are extremely toxic, even in extremely small quantities, and can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
Legislation went into effect on April 17 outlawing both cyclopropyl fentanyl and U-47700 in Georgia, and several recent overdose deaths have been linked to the drugs.
Monroe Police Officers had their first training this week at the department in Monroe and officers from surrounding jurisdictions were invited to attend. About half the officers at MPD were trained and issued with Naloxone.