PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- As the opioid epidemic grips the nation, law enforcement all over the country are having to find new ways to fight the crisis. That includes Phoenix Police, who are training their officers on how to use the live-saving drug narcan.
In fact, the training officers received recently saved a young boy's life.
Currently, Phoenix Police only has about 130 officers trained to use naloxone or narcan, which is an overdose reversal drug, and they are ramping up their training. Officers Justin Larose and Kevin Harsch out of the Maryvale Estrella Precinct had just been trained to use it in the field two weeks ago. They had to use it for real on Thursday night.
Officer Harsch described the scene when officers arrived.
"We looked around the room and saw some signs of a possible overdose," said Officer Harsch. "At that point while he was doing chest compressions, I returned to our Tahoe, grabbed the narcan."
The officers used the nasal spray on a 17-year-old who was suffering from an apparent fentanyl overdose.
"We administered one dose of the narcan, at which point he took his first breaths since we had been there," said Officer Harsch.
Both Harsch and Larose credited the training for knowing what to do and spotting the signs.
"Blue lips, blue face, he didn't respond to any painful stimuli, not responsive, no breathing, checked to see if there was a pulse or not"
"Had they not been there, and not had the revival medicine on hand, the situation could have turned out very different," said Officer Larose.
Phoenix Police officials hope to have half of their officers, or about 1,200, trained and prepared by the end of August.