Opiod addiction in Arkansas is a real problem, and officers on campus are getting ready for it.
On Opioid Awareness Day, Chief Campbell let students in the know about awareness, addiction and their plan to fight it if it comes to campus. Showing ‘Chasing the Dragon,’ addicts and information about the crisis were followed.
Even though there have not been any known problems, police on campus are now carrying Narcan, a nasal spray that can reverse or partially reverse an opioid overdose.
Opioid addiction was recently declared a national crisis, and reports of overdoses keep happening.
There are ways to help. The Joshua-Ashley Pauley Act grants legal immunity to a person who calls 911 about an opioid overdose. If the caller is caught in possession with illegal opioids when the police arrive, they are protected because they made the call and saved a life. However, the caller is only protected if the amount in possession would lead to a minor possession charge. Within the past three years, the fatality rate of opioids has decreased, and people think it is because of the Pauley Act. Officers like to think it is helping to save lives.
Those featured in the video lost at least one person they were close to due to opioid overdose. About half of the people featured in the video stated that their addiction had started with marijuana use, some starting drug use as early as age 11.
Other addictions began by them simply taking their own opioid prescription to relieve pain.
Several of the people in the video made the leap from opioids to heroin. This change is made because heroin is cheaper and easier to get, but is more dangerous. The people even admitted that heroin was more dangerous because you never knew what was in it.
“I tried not to use it,” a man in the video said. “Heroin was just cheaper and I needed something.”
In 2014 over 1.4million people abused opioids for the first time. Campbell stated that most first time abusers receive opioids from friends or relatives.
A large percentage of people arrested for crimes, including theft and murder are under the influence of drugs.
Every day at least 44 people die from an opioid overdose, and 93% of people who need help say that they do not need help.
This country contains 5% of the world’s population, and 80% of the world’s opioids use. Opioid use is the number two cause of death of Americans. If we can educate and spread awareness, maybe we can help fight this crisis alongside our law enforcement.