Saturday, July 13, 2024

WA Police now packing Naloxone

Western Australian Police Officers will now carry the rapid opioid overdose treatment, Naloxone, as part of their daily tool kit following a year-long trial of the life-saving medication.

In a statement, WA Police Minister, Paul Papalia said Naloxone was a quick, easy to administer medication which temporarily reverses the effects of drugs such as heroin, oxycontin and fentanyl.

A year-long trial – which ran from 1 July 2021-30 June 2022 – saw 365 WA Police Officers become the first police in the southern hemisphere to carry Naloxone.

During that time, the nasal spray was successfully used to treat 20 drug-affected people in the Perth and Bunbury regions.

More than 500 WA Police Officers have now been trained in how to administer the fast-acting medication.

Naloxone also provides additional safety for officers should they encounter highly toxic opioids during the search for, or, processing of illicit drugs.

Some opioid forms – such as fentanyl-derivatives – can be unintentionally inhaled or absorbed through the skin, posing significant risk of accidental exposure.

Minister Papalia said NSW and South Australian authorities have approached the WA Police Force for advice as they consider similar programs.

“Naloxone is an important tool for frontline officers which allows them to receive urgent care, should they accidentally be exposed to dangerous drugs on the job,” the Minister said.

“It also means police can take lifesaving action when they’re the first responders to an opioid overdose.

“Dozens of Western Australians have already benefited from this program and that number will increase as more and more police start to carry the nasal spray. 

“This State-wide rollout is nation leading – and we look forward to working with other jurisdictions as they too consider equipping their officers with the lifesaving treatment.”

WA Police Assistant Commissioner Metropolitan Region, Brad Royce said the trial has proven that providing police officers with Naloxone to administer in certain circumstances contributes to improved health outcomes and in some instances helped to save lives.

“The primary role of every police officer is to protect life, and this trial has shown this is another way we can achieve this in situations we are likely to come across as police officers,” he said.

“The State-wide rollout will also provide an extra layer of protection for officers who may be inadvertently exposed to dangerous opioids in the course of their duty, with this training making it possible for them to receive enhanced immediate first aid from their fellow officers.”

Latest Articles