MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis Fire Department announced Tuesday that its personnel will now be carrying Narcan, the drug used to treat heroin and opioid drug overdoses.

The department said its first responders have been trained in how to administer the drug, the costs of which will be covered by the Minnesota Metropolitan Services Board.

“This is another way that our first responders will be able to save lives,” Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a statement. “As the use and abuse of opioids has increased in recent years, so have opioid overdoses. MFD can play a critical role in preventing those overdoses from becoming fatal.”

In the last year, there were 336 opiate-related deaths in Minnesota. Prince’s recent death – and reports that he might have suffered from an opioid addiction – has put a spotlight on addiction, treatment and preventing overdoses.

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