Portland police deal with 5 overdoses in 24-hour period

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PORTLAND — Police in Portland dealt with five overdoses in a 24-hour period, and credit Naloxone with preventing some of them from being fatal.

In two instances, Naloxone was administered before police and emergency personnel arrived on the scene. Assistant Police Chief Vern Malloch said the increased availability and use of Naloxone to reverse the effects of an overdose is paying off in the fight against heroin and opioids.

Portland Police responded to five non-fatal opiate related overdoses between Sunday and Monday.

The overdoses happened all over the city, including at the Cumberland County Jail, the Oxford Street Shelter and a Portland coffee shop. Malloch says while Naloxone won’t solve the opiate crisis, it is saving people’s lives.

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“This is a harm reduction strategy with the ultimate goal of getting people into treatment, but they have to live through their addiction first,” Malloch said.

Portland police officers started carrying Naloxone in September of last year. The department is tracking how often officers are using Naloxone, but did not have the numbers readily available.

One popular brand of Naloxone is known as Narcan.

Portland Police

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