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NEW: Worcester Group Wants First Responders to Treat Heroin ODs

Monday, November 12, 2012


The Main South Alliance for Public Safety petitioned the Worcester City Council requesting that the City Manager work with the Police Chief and the Fire Chief to amend their department protocols to include the use of intra-nasal Narcan (Naloxone) when first responders treat individuals who have overdosed on heroin.

The City Council's Committee on Public Safety will discuss the requested protocols, which are currently being followed by UMass EMS Medical Services professionals, at its meeting on Wednesday, November 14, at 5:30p.m. in City Hall.

Narcan is used to reverse the effects of a narcotics overdose and can be administered using a special nasal spray device. While the drug can save lives, the public safety alliance has taken issue with programs that dispense Narcan to drug users or their caregivers in order to be self-administered in the case of an overdose.

"This is still a prescription drug and it shouldn't be dispensed," said William Breault, of the Main South Alliance for Public Safety.

The group has also voiced concerns over 9-1-1 Good Samaritan laws that provide protection from drug possession charges when an overdose victim or an overdose witness seeks medical attention.

"We want to treat every overdose as a potential homicide," said Breault.

"We advocate that police and prosecutors turn to more aggressive tactics against the drug, using laws currently on the books to seek murder charges against suspected dealers and provide for longer prison sentences for those charged when an heroin overdose death occurs."


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