HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - From heroin abusers – to people just taking medicine to help with pain.
Opioid overdoses kill tens of thousands of people every year nationwide and that number could be higher if not for a drug called naloxone.
Better known by its brand name, Narcan, it’s a drug more first responders are getting their hands on locally to fight the opioid epidemic.
Adapt Pharma produces Narcan, which is the only FDA-approved nasal naloxone spray. Executive Director of Communications, Thom Duddy, says the company still hasn't seen a peak in sales.
“If you don’t have naloxone in the community, people die. It’s that simple," he said.
Duddy tells News 3, police are the fastest growing public interest segment using the drug.
“You talk to police officers and they want to help. They don’t want to stand there and be helpless and that’s why I think you’re starting to see every day more and more police departments are jumping on board with this," said Duddy.
News 3 cameras were inside the Portsmouth Police Department in March as the department trained its entire force to use naloxone.
“This is an additional skill. It’s something to add to the officers' toolkits," said Capt. Scott Burke. “We now have close to 60-80 of these kits deployed throughout the police department.”
Other area police departments using naloxone and Narcan include Virginia Beach and Hampton.
The York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office tells News 3 its deputies have been trained to administer the drug. They're hoping to receive a shipment of naloxone and begin carrying it sometime in June.