The men and women of Maine law enforcement are some of the best first responders in the nation.  Between responding to motor vehicle crashes, dealing with domestic violence situations, and stopping drunk drivers, they put their lives on the line to save the lives of others every day.

Now, a new law may lead to them saving even more lives.

According to an article on WGME, a new Maine law requires law enforcement officers to carry the opioid overdose reversal drug Naloxone.  On-duty officers are now required to have the drug, better known as Narcan, on their person or in the cruiser.

Nextdistro / Unsplash
Nextdistro / Unsplash

How does Naloxone work?

According to the University of Wisconsin Police Department website:

naloxone blocks the brain’s uptake of opioids by replacing them. Think of your brain cells like a toddler’s shape sorter toy — the one with the different shaped holes and blocks. Naloxone comes along and replaces the opioid. It can boot it out or fill the hole before the heroin comes along.

In recent years, we have seen a serious spike in the number of overdoses in Maine.  According to a recent Portland Press Herald article, there were 723 overdose deaths in Maine in 2022.  As of October of 2023, there had been over 500 overdose deaths in the state in 2023.

In Portland alone, there were at least 47 overdose deaths in 2023.

Hopefully, this law will lead to some saved lives.  Of course, we all hope that those people will get the help they need and turn their lives around.  The drug epidemic is, without a doubt, one of the most tragic things to ever happen to our mostly-peaceful corner of the nation.

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