Detroit police to get Narcan training to treat overdoses

- FOX 2 reported on a couple who nearly died in a car after overdosing on heroin and crashing.

Now Detroit police plan to make some changes that help could save lives in similar situations -  arming themselves with one more tool that could save a life.

"Yes it is very troubling as everyone who saw the video I'm concerned about it," said Detroit Police Assistant Chief James White.

Who wouldn't be -  a couple driving in Detroit loses control of their car after they overdose on heroin. Luckily they struck a sign instead of oncoming traffic.

Witnesses who recorded the aftermath run to the scene and see a needle still sticking out of the passenger's leg. They call Detroit police who eventually respond, but have to rely on medics to revive the two.

But DPD Assistant Chief James White says that will soon will change.

"This is a tool for the officers' tool box," White said. "Something they can use when they run across these unfortunate situations."

Starting next week, Detroit police officers will begin training to administer an Opiod Overdose Kit - referred to as Narcan.

In some cases it can reverse a potentially deadly dose of heroin, which sadly has become all too common.

"This is a serious health concern for the community," White said. "We don't see the numbers being an epidemic for Detroit but one is one too many."

The crash at Seven Mile and Chalmers happened on March 27 and the disturbing video has since gone viral.

Police are now looking into the incident which has many questioning why the couple wasn't criminally charged. Paraphernalia was in plain sight and they not only risked their own lives, but several around them.

White said the incident appears to have been treated as a medical call and not a criminal case..

But in the event of an overdose, each case is different.

"I don't know if we serve the citizen by charging them when they go through such a traumatic situation," he said.  "Each is weighed on its own circumstances."

The Detroit Health Department and Wayne County Mental Health are partnering to provide the kits and train the officers. White says the Detroit Police Department is so large that it is going to take time, but the process starts Monday.
 

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