University System of Georgia

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Antidote for Opioid Overdose to be Available Systemwide for all USG Campus Law Enforcement Agencies

Atlanta — February 14, 2017

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), use and addiction of the opioid heroin has increased across the U.S. and is trending up among college-age students, 18-25 years old. As heroin use has increased, so have heroin-related overdose deaths. As a potential life-saving measure, opioid antagonists – an antidote for suspected opioid overdoses – will be available to all University System of Georgia (USG) law enforcement agencies.

“Over half of our campuses already have the opioid antagonist, naloxone,” said Bruce Holmes, USG Chief of Police. “The remaining campuses are in the process of making naloxone available to their officers for use in the field.” This emergency drug is another important tool for first responders and protects our students, campuses and the surrounding communities.”

“Campus safety is our top priority. Making the drug naloxone available to our safety departments across all of our campuses can make the difference in saving a life,” said Board of Regents Chairman C. Thomas Hopkins Jr., M.D. “I commend the USG law enforcement chiefs and their officers for taking the action necessary to have this emergency drug available on campus as a first-response in protecting our students.”

According to the CDC, each year approximately 1,000 people die in the state of Georgia from overdoses of illegal opioids, such as heroin, as well as prescription drugs, such as fentanyl. In 2014, Governor Nathan Deal signed the Georgia 911 Medical Amnesty Law, extending legal protections to those who administer naloxone. USG law enforcement officers are authorized to maintain and administer opioid antagonists in suspected cases of opioid overdoses.

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