Holder Calls on Police, First Responders to Save Lives of Drug-Overdosers

Between 2006 and 2010, heroin overdose deaths in the United States increased by 45 percent — a “tragic” development stemming from the “significant increase” in prescription drug abuse, Attorney General Eric Holder told a law enforcement gathering on Wednesday.

In addition to “vigorous” law enforcement, Holder is urging more education, prevention, and treatment. And he called on “all first responders, including state and local law enforcement agencies, to train and equip their men and women on the front lines to use the overdose-reversal drug called naloxone.”

The prescription drug, also known as narcan, sells for about $22 per syringe online. Since 2001, it’s been used in 17 states and the District of Columbia to reverse 10,000 overdoses, Holder said.

“And I urge state policymakers and local leaders throughout the nation to take additional steps to increase the availability of naloxone among first responders — so we can provide lifesaving aid to more and more of those who need it.”