CHICO, Calif. - 17 people have died in Butte County due to opioid overdose in the past year, and now police have a new weapon in the war to save lives from addiction.
It's called Naloxone, and its movement has been led by commander Billy Aldridge of Chico Police Department to arm Chico police with the life-saving drug.
"It's a pretty simple process that can help to save a life," Aldridge said.
So far, the drug has a 100 percent success rate and is as simple as using a nasal spray. In just roughly four months, it has already helped to save two lives.
"Approximately 50 kits have been placed in every patrol vehicle," he said.
They have also placed the kits in detective vehicles, and any kind of specialty vehicle in the force.
But you don't have to have a badge to make a difference.
"Anyone can access naloxone," said Lisa Almaguer of the Butte County Public Health Department. "You can go to the pharmacy and get it without a prescription."
If a pharmacy insists on seeing a prescription, Butte County Public Health says to try another location.
"It is a new practice in Butte County, and it hasn't been normalized yet," she said. "So, if you're not able to get it from a specific pharmacist, keep trying other pharmacies in the area."
The county also said that it is essential for friends and family who know someone who uses opioids to have naloxone on hand.
"The first responders, while they get there quick, they are not as quick as someone sitting right next to you," she said.
New legislation pending President Trump's approval, will expand programs that arm first responders with naloxone.
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