The agencies coordinating Missouri’s federal grant to prevent opioid overdose deaths supplied the Columbia Police Department, three other police departments and one fire protection district with the overdose antidote naloxone yesterday.
The agencies also taught the officers and EMTs about the science behind addiction, and showed them how to use the antidote. Rachel Winograd of the Missouri Institute of Mental Health says the most important part of the training was getting buy-in from the first responders.
“Using naloxone is incredibly easy," Winograd said. "It takes 30 seconds. You could teach a four year old to do it. The bigger piece is getting at where people stand with it and if they want to do it. People have very different opinions about people who overdose on drugs.”
Winograd said the first responders were taught how to use a smartphone app to keep track of how many lives they save with the antidote.