National Sheriffs’ Association Provides Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office With Life-Saving Opioid Overdose “Rescue Drug”

ALEXANDRIA, VA, August 16, 2017 – National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) CEO and Executive Director Jonathan Thompson and Cuyahoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney announced today that the Sheriff’s Office will train deputies on how to use the “rescue drug” naloxone and provide overdose rescue kits to the deputies at no cost to taxpayers.

A new round of funding from Purdue Pharma L.P. is helping NSA expand its program of offering naloxone kits and trainings free of charge to law enforcement agencies across the country, including 160 kits to Cuyahoga County. Naloxone can reverse an overdose from some opioids, including heroin and Fentanyl. Purdue Pharma has funded the NSA program with $850,000 since its inception in November 2015. 

“Partnering with the private sector is a crucial step in combatting deaths from an opioid overdose, and we are grateful to be able to continue our successful partnership with Purdue Pharma through their recent funding of an additional $500,000 toward this life-saving initiative,” said NSA CEO and Executive Director Jonathan Thompson. “Since the launch of our pilot program in December 2015 more than 120 lives have been saved.”

“Thanks to the National Sheriffs’ Association and Purdue Pharma, we can now provide our deputies with another tool to fight the opioid crisis,” said Cuyahoga County Sheriff Cliff Pinkney.  

“Our deputies, corrections officers and support personnel have long been proactive in fighting heroin and other opioids. Now, with this additional support, we can be even more effective. We are grateful for this national support; solving this crisis will take the collective effort of our entire community.”

As part of the pilot phase of the initiative, NSA distributed 500 naloxone kits to 12 local law enforcement agencies in Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia. The program has also allowed NSA to reach more than 600 deputies and officers through onsite training at nine law enforcement agencies in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.

“We’re committed to pursuing multiple pathways to address the complexities of opioid abuse and addiction in the U.S. With our support, the National Sheriffs’ Association’s naloxone distribution program has saved more than 120 lives to date and we are pleased to see the deployment of this important rescue drug in high-need communities,” said Gail Cawkwell, Chief Medical Officer of Purdue Pharma. “Purdue will continue to work with policy makers, public health officials and law enforcement throughout the country to implement meaningful solutions to this public health challenge.”

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, “Quickly responding to an opioid overdose with the lifesaving reversal drug naloxone is critical. Expanding access to naloxone for first responders and individuals likely to witness an overdose, and training health care providers to prescribe naloxone to at-risk patients, are essential actions to reverse the epidemic.”

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION
The National Sheriffs’ Association is one of the largest associations of law enforcement professionals in the United States, representing more than 3,000 elected sheriffs across the nation, and a total membership of more than 20,000. NSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of criminal justice and public safety. Throughout its seventy-seven-year history, NSA has served as an information clearinghouse for sheriffs, deputies, chiefs of police, other law enforcement professionals, state governments and the federal government.

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