Gov. Phil Bryant announced this week that the state would offer a new type of equipment to Mississippi State Troopers and other law enforcement agents. This time, it is not about a new superior car for tracking missions or white weapons. Instead, they will start carrying with them overdose antidotes. This new measure stems from a recent task force report that offered applicable steps on how to curb heroin abuse.
The Report Courtesy of Task Force Issued 41 Recommendations to Curb Opioid Addiction and Side-Effects
On Wednesday, the task force issued a total of 41 recommendations for either medical or law enforcement authorities. The conclusions addressed to the state to appoint additional funds for dealing with a climbing opioid crisis. The lawmakers should spend more on treatment research and issue taxing prescription drugs to take care of the costs.
On top of that, the report recommends adding extra criminal charges for illegal sellers of fentanyl or heroin. On the other hand, Gov. Phil Bryant is of the opinion that individual users shouldn’t receive extra penalties. That’s because they are already coping with an addiction, and they need help and not punitive decisions.
“I think you’ll see a reduction in the number of lives that are lost.”
The Department of Mental Health Is Currently Preparing the Overdose Antidotes
The operation is already ongoing. At the moment, the Department of Mental Health is preparing 1,450 overdose antidotes of naloxone nasal spray. A $3.6 million federal grant is mostly covering these expenses. The assets will then be heading to troopers and narcotics agents.
Mississippi recorded 211 cases of overdose cases in 2016. However, officials believe that other cases fail to be reported. Therefore, the impact of opioid addiction might be higher than this within this state. For a better tracking of the situation, officials are aiming at adding six more employees to identify the deaths from overdoses at the state crime lab.
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