In the midst of a nationwide opioid epidemic, the Florida Highway Patrol has issued the heroin antidote Narcan to troopers in the state.

A Narcan unit will work with troopers when they encounter an overdose situation and ensure troopers are protected from exposure to dangerous opioids.

Troopers in Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Martin and Indian River began carrying the drug this week.

Narcan is a brand name for Naxolone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

The drug is typically administered as a shot in the thigh, buttocks or shoulder, working much like an EpiPen, but it’s also available as a nasal spray.

A number of states are now requiring police officers and other first responders to carry the drug.

“The FHP is part of a concerted, collaborative effort to combat the opioid crisis, which has a far-reaching impact,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Safety for our Troopers and those we serve has been and always will be the department’s number one priority and it’s critical that our members can safely perform their jobs to help prevent any unnecessary injuries or death in our state.”

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