Police in Ocean County are beginning training on how to administer a drug that would reverses opiate overdoses.A training seminar on Narcan was conducted in the Ocean County Fire Academy Wednesday morning, another one will be held at the end of the week.

“Today and Friday we’re completing the train the trainers. They’ll rush back get their training done [to the rest of their department], once they’ve certified to us that they’ve done that, then we’ll roll out the kits and we’ll get it out of the streets,” said Al Della Fave, public information officer for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.

Narcan nasal dispenser (Ilya Hemlin Townsquare Media)

The Narcan will be administered via a nasal spray, no needles are involved. Dr. Kenneth Lavelle, medical director for Pennsylvania based Emergency Training and Consulting, said while the drug can save the life of a person who is overdosing on heroin or prescription pain killers, it won’t be the only thing police will be responsible for.

“They’re going to use this medication if indicated, but then they need to provide ventilation if necessary, they need to do CPR and use the defibrillator as necessary.”

He noted the medication should not be administered if a victim appears to be in cardiac arrest or has blocked airways as those are more pressing issues and taking time to administer Narcan could hinder other life saving efforts. Narcan has no adverse effects otherwise.

While the medication will also be available to non first responders by prescription, EMT’s are not allowed to administer it on the job.

“For whatever reason the EMT’s have a special governing board that has not OK’d it,” said Della Fave.

He noted Ocean County is working on waivers for EMTs.