Metro Transit police to be armed with naloxone to combat opioid overdoses

Medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose will be issued to officers with the Metro Transit Police Department.

The move comes following a rise in calls to Metro Transit police reporting suspected overdoses, from 27 incidents in 2021 to 43 incidents in 2022, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Naloxone (sold under the brand name Narcan) can treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation. It can quickly restore normal breathing to someone whose respiratory system has slowed or stopped due to opioid use such as heroin, fentanyl or prescription painkillers.

Metro said it worked with The h3 Project DC, a D.C. nonprofit organization that helps vulnerable populations, to train all Metro personnel who will be equipped with the medication.

“Like all medical emergencies, time is of the essence when rendering care to those experiencing overdoses, and officers are now better equipped to quickly help those experiencing a crisis,” Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Anzallo said in a news release.

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., with nearly three out of four caused by opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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