Birmingham police to carry heroin overdose antidote

Image caption,
Naloxone can be administered in the form of a nasal spray

Police officers are to be issued an emergency antidote to allow them to treat drug users who have overdosed on heroin.

Forty West Midlands Police officers have been trained to use naloxone nasal sprays.

Naloxone can also be used to treat overdoses of methadone, morphine and fentanyl.

A former addict said his life was saved on two occasions when he was given the drug by medics.

Carl Price, from voluntary organisation Change Grow Live which has provided the training, said: "Without me having that naloxone when I did, I wouldn't be here to talk about it."

Image caption,
Carl Price said his life was saved when he was administered naloxone

It comes as a report for Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson found someone dies from drug poisoning every three days in the West Midlands.

Mr Jamieson said "Police officers are often the first on the scene when there is an overdose.

"This initiative is an important symbol in showing that first and foremost all emergency services are there to protect life."

Tony Mercer from Public Heath England said there is "good evidence" naloxone helps prevent opiate overdose deaths.

"The new nasal naloxone is more acceptable than the current injection to people who might first come across an overdose, like the police, making it easier to reach more people who might benefit from its use," he said.

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