The Benton Police Department (BNPD) announces a plan to provide their officers with Naloxone kits. Naloxone is a medication used to reverse the effects of opioids especially in overdose. The BNPD is the first agency in the state to produce a Naloxone Training video for officers, and the video has been certified through the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training.
On Monday, December 14, 2015, the Smith Drug Company provided the Benton Police Department with 100 Naloxone kits for officers to use in the field with individuals who have overdosed on opiates, including heroin and prescription pain relievers. Naloxone kits were prepared by Smith Drug Company under the authority of a prescribing physician, using one-time funding provided by Smith Drug Company.
“When Police Chief Kirk Lane approached us with his plan to equip his officers with Naloxone kits, we recognized that we could help the Benton community and that this was an opportunity to raise awareness,” said Jeff Foreman, RPh, president of Smith Drug Company. “We are happy to provide these kits, knowing they will save lives, and we are proud to continue our support of law enforcement agencies.
Naloxone is a counter agent to opiate prescription drugs and heroin. When administered, Naloxone restores respiration within two to five minutes, and may prevent brain injury or death. Nearly 30,000 people in the U.S. died from a prescription drug overdose in 2014, and nearly 12,000 people in the U.S. died from a heroin overdose in 2014. Providing officers with Naloxone kits and training can reduce the time between when an overdose victim is discovered and when they receive lifesaving assistance.
The Arkansas legislature passed the Joshua Ashley-Pauley Act (Good Samaritan Law) in 2015 that provides immunity from arrest, charge and prosecution for people who seek medical assistance for drug overdose victims. The legislature also passed the Naloxone Access Act in 2015 that provides immunity to first responders from civil liability, criminal liability, or professional sanctions for prescribing, dispensing, and administering Naloxone and other opioid antagonists if he or she is acting in good faith.
There is no evidence that first responder use of Naloxone to revive people experiencing an opioid overdose encourages or enables drug addiction. There are no negative effects on an individual who receives Naloxone but is determined to not have opioids in their body.
Smith Drug Company is the original division of J M Smith Corporation, and one of America’s premier wholesale drug distributors. Launched in 1944, the division serves pharmacies in 25 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands through distribution centers in Spartanburg; Paragould, AR; and Valdosta, GA. South Carolina’s third-largest privately owned company, the J M Smith Corporation is headquartered in Spartanburg and operates through multiple business units: Smith Drug Company, QS/1, Integral Solutions Group, RxMedic Systems, Inc., and Integra LTC Solutions, LLC.
*This report includes information provided by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.