HAMPTON, Va. (WVEC) -- The Hampton Police Department is unveiling its latest weapon in the fight against opioid abuse.
The department is partnering up with Sentara to combat opioid overdoses. Hampton Police say they've had 120 drug over doses since January, with more than a dozen people dying.
"A lot of cities would like to think that it's not in their backyard. But in fact, it actually is. We've seen 16 deaths this year alone in Hampton. The fire department's responded to over 400 overdoses," said Terry Sult, Hampton Police Chief. He said Naloxone was used in about 170 cases.
Heroin and other opioids suppress breathing and heart functions. To help save lives, some officers will be equipped with Naloxone, an overdose-reversing drug that works by displacing opioid receptions in the brain, and reviving the person.
There is some training involved. Eight officers will learn how to use it from staff at Sentara CarePlex. Sixteen others have already been trained.
"It's not that you get the Narcan [brand name for Naloxone], you go into the hospital, life is better and then you're able to go out into the community, you've got an addiction that you've got to deal with, your body is now craving that drug," added Betsy Lynch, director of emergency at Sentara CarePlex.