The doses, single-use nasal sprays sealed in plastic containers that look like your typical allergy spray, have been stocked.
BART Police officers have been trained in how to administer the medication, known as Narcan or generically as naloxone. A policy has been put in place for when and how the opioid antidote is to be used to revive someone who has overdosed. By the end of May it’s expected all BPD officers will carry Narcan.
And one day in the not-too-distant future a BART Police Officer will spot or be called to check on the welfare of a person who appears passed out on a station floor or on a train. They’ll check for signs of an overdose, turn the victim on his or her side, pop the blister seal on the Narcan package, and quickly spray the medicine into a nostril.
A life will be saved. And maybe, just maybe, a second chance at life will mean everything, and motivate that person to get treatment.
“It’s a public health concern,” said Armando Sandoval, BART’s Community Outreach Liaison and Crisis Intervention Team coordinator. “We’re dealing with the safety of those who struggle with addiction, the public, first responders, our officers, BART employees and our community partners,” he said. “We have a choice either to be proactive by getting out in front of it or we can choose to get out of the way. We choose to be proactive.”
Carrying Narcan is just one more tool in the officers’ toolkits to combat social issues such as homelessness, mental illness and drug addiction that affect BART and the communities it serves. Read more about it.