May 9th, 2023

Police officers in Erie County are saving lives daily by using Narcan to assist individuals in overdose. Fentanyl and related substances have contributed to a rise in drug overdose deaths. Narcan (Nalozone) can prevent an opioid overdose from becoming fatal.

Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It attaches to opioid receptors and reverses and blocks the effects of the opioids. Naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose.

Naloxone has no harmful effect on someone who does not have opioids in their system, and it is not a treatment for opioid use disorder. Examples of opioids include heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), codeine, and morphine. (2023 National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Overdose response is now a routine part of police duties, along with taking calls for break-in, assaults and various other incidents.

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office and the Erie County Office of Drug & Alcohol Abuse obtained funding to equip every on-duty police vehicle with at least one dose of the antidote.

 On May 05, 2023, Erie County District Attorney Elizabeth Hirz and Erie County Office of Drug & Alcohol Abuse Program Specialist Cortney Elliott, distributed 600 kits (1,200 doses) of Narcan to all local law enforcement agencies in Erie County. 

The District Attorney’s Office continues to be active in the collaborative movement to assist individuals suffering from substance use disorder by introducing them to treatment through the Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI)

Anyone needing assistance with a substance use disorder can contact Erie County Office of Drug & Alcohol Abuse 814-451-6877