Opioid fighting initiative announced by Louisiana AG Jeff Landry - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Opioid fighting initiative announced by Louisiana AG Jeff Landry

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

As drug overdoses surge across the country and the state, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has announced an initiative to help some first responders aid overdose victims.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the country is in the middle of an opioid epidemic. While the numbers in Southwest Louisiana are still relatively low compared to cities like New Orleans, our area is certainly not immune.

"It's getting really bad in Jeff Davis Parish with the drug problem," said Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff Ivy Woods, "Just in the last two weeks, I think it's 2 or 3 overdoses. Our main concern is to get out there and help these people and these are one of the tools that can be used to help."

The tool he's referring to is naloxone, a prescription medication that counteracts the effects of opioids to restore breathing during an overdose.

Landry says through a $1 million settlement with Pfizer, single draw-down doses of naloxone will be available to first responders who request them.

"Our office is pleased by this settlement which will help get first responders much needed resources to help fight the opioid epidemic plaguing our State,” said Attorney General Landry. “I am appreciative of the partnership between our office and Pfizer, as well as the continued support from our first responders who strive daily to rid Louisiana of opioid related overdoses and deaths."

Agencies can request a voucher from the state, good for a prescription for 10 vials of the medication which can be filled at a local pharmacy.

"It's an opportunity for us to use it not just for a citizen but for us too. Because our officers come in contact with these drugs also," said Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso. 

Over the weekend it was reported an Ohio police officer came in contact with a drug causing him to black out. He was immediately given a dose of naloxone, and is doing well. 

"Had that officer not gotten that quickly, the outcome may have been a lot different," said Mancuso.

This new initiative comes on the heels of the “End the Epidemic LA” informational campaign, launched last month.

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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