Raleigh Police officers will now carry a drug called Naloxone that reverses opioid overdoses.
Authorities say the city is experiencing a spike in drug overdoses this year. About 15 cases are being reported each month.
Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown told the city council this week that a surge in 911 calls are confirming that trend.
“And some of the more common calls are reflective of the unusual sleepiness, the inability to wake the person up, breathing problems, pupils looking pinpoint, and that list goes on as well,” Deck-Brown said.
The department's 600 officers in Raleigh are being trained to use the nasal spray that can counteract the effects of a drug overdose when police respond to such incidents.
“We are looking at a potential 190 percent increase,” Deck-Brown said. “That, on average, is about 15 overdoses per month this year alone.”
Deck-Brown said about four of those cases each month ends in death. The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition says more than 150 police departments in the state already carry Naloxone.