50 / 43
      50 / 33
      36 / 27

      Attorney General urges lawmakers to give police access to overdose drugs

      U.S. A ttorney General Eric Holder is calling for more emergency responders to use a drug designed to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.

      T he drug is called Narcan. Typically, only paramedics use it, but the Attorney General believes putting it into more hands might save more lives.

      "I believe the current state of law and protocol in the state of Michigan would not allow officers were not paramedics to administer the drug so I guess that's where the conversation begins," John Calabrese, Petoskey Public Safety Director said.

      T hat conversation might start by looking at the 17 states that have changed their laws to allow access to the drug.

      The Benzie County Sheriff's Department has been trained and is using the drug.

      S ome area departments believe Michigan might be the next one ready for change.

      "I f these people are going to take this drug and overdose on it and we can have an officer within a minute or two to counteract that and you can save somebody's life it's worth it," Jeff Gaither, Boyne City Police Chief said.

      A nti-overdose drugs like Narcan have been introduced in a number of communities including Petoskey to help combat the problem.

      "T his is something that is been used for quite some time with pretty good results it is an effective drug ," Calabrese said.

      B ut when it comes to the idea of police administering drugs , local departments want to proceed with caution and take into consideration other factors, like costs for the drug and the additional training needed for each officer.

      "Y ou need to be careful about who's administering a powerful drug like Narcan has to be done properly and you need training to do that," Calabrese said.