HPD administrations of opioid overdose antidote soar amid fentanyl’s rise on Oahu
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Over the past six months, Honolulu police have administered more Narcan than all the other police departments in Hawaii combined, new data shows.
The nasal spray is used to reverse an opioid overdose.
Footage from police body worn cameras underscore the power of the antidote.
In one video, from Kauai police, an officer can be heard saying, “Hit her with some Narcan.”
Officers who were equipped with the nasal spray then revived two unconscious women suspected of overdosing on fentanyl ― a deadly opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin.
On Maui, body camera video showed officers using Narcan to save a teenager.
Once the nasal spray is administered, an officer is heard saying, “Come on. There you go. There you go. Hello. How you doing?”
In seconds, the girl regains consciousness and is talking.
“What happened,” she asked the officer.. “I don’t remember.”
“It’s the ultimate lifesaver for opioid overdose,” said Gary Yabuta, executive director of Hawaii’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. And, he added, it’s a tool every police department in the state is using.
“They’re the first one’s on the scene. They are in the streets. They’re going to be there before anybody else.”
Now, data is giving new insight into just how often officers are turning to Narcan on the job.
Honolulu police are using the overdose antidote the most.
Since July, there have been 28 instances where officers administered the nasal spray. That’s more than triple the number of times it was used in all of 2021.
On Hawaii Island, officers used Narcan seven times so far this year ― up one from last year.
On Kauai, officers administered the nasal spray five times in 2022, which is the same as in 2021.
And on Maui, officials say Narcan has been administered twice since May. The department didn’t provide any other numbers for comparison.
As fentanyl continues to flood the state, Yabuta says it’s important that officers are prepared.
“Everybody is stepping up to the plate and they are combat ready,” he said.
Yabuta added that officers should also be prepared to use Narcan on one another.
There have been at least two instances just this year ― on Oahu and the Big Island ― where police were exposed to an opioid and Narcan was administered.
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