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North Reading Police Have New Tool in Fight Against Heroin, Opiate Overdoses

North Reading Police have started using Nasal Naloxon in drug overdose cases. 

Known as Narcan, it is an opioid antagonist and "can quickly reverse the effects of a potentially fatal overdose by displacing the drug from the receptors in the brain. It has minimal side effects, is not dangerous if administered to a person who is not overdosing, and it has no potential for abuse," according to police.

"Narcan is effective against heroin, but also against other opiates like Fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicodin)," said police. 

Opioid overdoes is one of the leading causes of death in Massachusetts and Police Chief Michael Murphy said no community is immune to the problem. North Reading has experienced three heroin-related deaths this year. 

“As police officers and first responders, we have to face the heroin and opiate problem head-on,” Murphy said. “People are dying in our communities, and the first arriving officer is now better equipped to make a difference in these situations.”

Nasal Naloxone will be in all marked cruisers. Every sworn officer has completed an intensive training program. 

The department's initial dosages of Naloxone came from Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan's office.

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