Marco Island Police Department (FL) partners with Families of Grace, Collier County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Marco Island Fire Rescue to deploy life-saving drug NARCAN.
Unlike most parts of Florida and the United States, Marco Island has not experienced a dramatic increase in drug overdoses, however, it is not immune to them. During December 2019, Marco Island Police officers were trained by Collier County EMS to administer Narcan nasal spray to individuals experiencing a drug overdose in our community. This initiative by the Marco Island Police Department places it in the vanguard of only approximately 14% of law enforcement agencies nationally to deploy Narcan.
Researchers at the University of Michigan recently determined that providing Narcan, an emergency substance that counteracts life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose, to law enforcement professionals first and foremost saves lives. Secondly, the University of Michigan determined it was economically beneficial and produced a cost-saving when accounting for societal costs, such as productivity losses due to fatal overdose—even when considering increased costs related to the criminal justice and health care systems.
While Collier County EMS and Marco Fire Rescue are highly trained professional organizations with exceptional response time, law enforcement officers are often the first on unsecured scenes involving drug overdoses, therefore the quick deployment of Narcan is essential.
In addition to citizens who are experiencing a drug overdose, Narcan has also been used to save the lives of police officers in other jurisdictions who become inadvertent overdose victims or are unknowingly exposed to opioids through contact with drugs in law enforcement situations.
As in the use of an automated external defibrillator, the use of Narcan is a logical extension and essential part of community policing, providing a critical lifesaving tool. Narcan is particularly well suited for law enforcement deployment because it causes no harm when administered.
Marco Island as a community is indeed fortunate as Denise Holmes from Families of Grace, a local non-profit foundation committed to saving children and adults from opioid overdoses, donated over twenty-unit doses of Narcan to the Marco Island Police Department, which will be carried by on-duty law enforcement personnel.