By Nina Moini

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Narcan is life-saving technology in a simple spray.

On Thursday, St. Paul Police Department became the latest law enforcement agency to train in the field using the drug that reverses an opioid overdose.

The government estimates that in 2015, some 12.5 million people abused opioids, like heroin and painkillers.

Many cities in the Twin Cities metro area and in out-state Minnesota are giving Narcan to first responders and now police officers. The hope is to try to fight back against the growing number of opioid deaths in recent years.

“You just take it out of package, insert it into someone’s nose, and spray,” said Dr. Bjorn Peterson of Regions Hospital. “That’s all you have to do.”

Sometimes, even officers are at risk of overdosing just by coming into contact with some types of strong synthetic opioids.

Narcan is also a tool they can use on themselves and even canines, according to Peterson.

There is no adverse effect if it is used on someone who did not in fact ingest an opioid, Peterson said.

The department hopes all officers will be trained in administering the drug by the end of the year.

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