By Sarah Calams
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PALM BEACH, Fla. — Deputies in Palm Beach County, Florida, will soon start carrying Narcan – a policy change that is expected to cost the county $200,000.
The change, however, comes with a caveat: the department will run a three-year study on the use and results of deputies carrying the opioid overdose reversal drug. Based on the study’s results, the department will determine if they want deputies to continue carrying Narcan, The Palm Beach Post reported.
“In view of the current national opioid overdose epidemic and the large importations of fentanyl, we have decided to allow our deputies to carry Narcan,” Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said. “This decision falls short of a long-term solution to the addiction problem. The focus needs to be on education, prevention and treatment.”
Advocates praised the change, noting that more than two-thirds of Florida sheriff’s deputies already carry Narcan, while others expressed their frustration.
“Drug addiction is not a law enforcement issue,” Frank DeMario, Bradshaw’s top aide, told The Palm Beach Post. “We do a lot, but you are going to ask us to put another tool in our toolbox.”
In the past, Bradshaw claimed he didn’t want his deputies carrying Narcan due to liability reasons, according to the report.
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