Pouches containing two intra-nasal Naloxone sprays, plus casualty information cards, are being distributed for the first time to all constables, sergeants and inspectors, numbering around 300, in the division - including those in the upper Nithsdale area.

Naloxone is an emergency first aid treatment for use in a potentially life-threatening overdose situation.

It works by reversing the respiratory suppression caused by opioids or opiates, and can buy the casualty critical minutes until ambulance clinicians arrive on scene.

Officers complete an online training course before receiving the first aid equipment, which is worn alongside their standard issue equipment as they go about their duties.

Shortly after the kits were issued, an officer used the reversal agent for the first time.

Constable David Packer attended an incident in February where a casualty was showing the typical signs of opioid-related overdose, including pin point pupils, blue lips and shallow breathing, which officers are taught about during Naloxone training.

PC Packer said: “I laid the person on the floor and administered Naloxone before putting them in the recovery position. They began to show signs of recovery after a short time and his breathing rate improved.

"By the time paramedics arrived he was sitting up and talking to me.

“I felt the Naloxone was very effective, and I was confident giving it after completing the training, which was really informative and gave step-by-step instructions.

"Knowing that it can save a life, I feel it’s a vital tool for police officers to carry and help preserve lives in our communities.”

Police Scotland officers already undertake in-depth first aid training, and the carriage and administration of Naloxone is an extension of their first aid skills.

Chief Superintendent Carol McGuire, Police Scotland's divisional commander in Dumfries and Galloway, said: “The role of policing goes beyond law enforcement and preservation of life lies at the very core of our duties. 

"Equipping our officers here in Dumfries and Galloway with Naloxone enhances their existing extensive first aid skills and helps them to fulfil that responsibility.

“Drug misuse can have a devastating effect on individuals, families and entire communities.

"By working alongside partner agencies, I very much hope the carriage of Naloxone by our officers helps to saves lives and positively change attitudes.”

Since officers in Scotland began carrying Naloxone, it has been administered at least 128 times - as of Friday, 24 February, 2023 - with positive outcomes on all but five occasions.

Police Scotland’s work to introduce Naloxone as part of standard issue kit to its officers has been supported by the Scottish Government, and a number of other key stakeholders.

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