Commissioner Morrison announces grant program to provide local law enforcement with life-saving auto injector pens for heroin overdoses

Commissioner Sean M. Morrison, in cooperation with the Orland Fire Protection District and Kaléo, Inc., has secured a grant of naloxone to supply Cook County Police Departments, free of charge, with the opioid antagonist, Evzio®. Under the agreement, Kaléo, Inc. is donating 12,000 Evzio® (Naloxone) kits to the office of Commissioner Morrison for distribution to police departments. All Police Departments within Cook County, including municipal, county and college/campus police will be eligible to receive a portion of the grant based on need.

Commissioner Morrison created the “Cook County Overdose Prevention Program”, working with the Orland Fire Protection District and other area police and fire agencies. The Orland Fire Protection District will provide training and certification to police departments who apply to receive Evzio® as well as maintaining records, data and inventory for the program.

“We’ve seen a frightening surge in heroin overdoses throughout Cook County. This exceptional grant opportunity will provide law enforcement with a life-saving tool, at no cost, to be carried and administered on the front lines where minutes and even seconds are critical to saving lives,” said Commissioner Morrison.

The vast majority of overdoses are accidental and result from taking inappropriate doses of opioids or mixing opioid drugs with other substances. These drug overdoses typically take over 45 minutes to turn fatal, but can happen much sooner depending on route and dose. So the ability to reduce the time between the onset of symptoms of an overdose and effective intervention is a matter of life and death.

Law enforcement officers have always been on the front lines of the battle against drug related harm in their communities. Police usually have a quicker response to an overdose incident than EMS providers, for the mere fact they are already on the street. This creates a critical window of opportunity for lifesaving intervention with appropriate assistance, which includes the administration of the antidote naloxone, which quickly and effectively reverses the overdose effect.

Under a new state law that took effect on January 1, 2016, police departments throughout the State of Illinois are required to carry an opioid antagonist in an effort to reduce the number of overdose deaths in our communities. To participate, police departments were mailed an application or asked to visit the online version found on Commissioner Morrison’s website at: www.seanmorrison.com/evzio.

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