CBP becomes the first federal law enforcement agency to train and equip officers with potentially life-saving drug for the treatment of overdoses
WASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection has begun a pilot program to train and equip officers with Naloxone, a potentially life-saving drug for the treatment of opioid overdoses. CBP officers participating in the pilot program receive training in the signs and symptoms of an overdose, how to administer Naloxone and CPR instructor certification. With the pilot currently underway, CBP becomes the first federal law enforcement agency to implement such a program.
“Every second counts when someone is experiencing an overdose. That’s why it’s important to have first responders equipped and trained to administer this life saving tool. Several public safety and law enforcement agencies have been using Naloxone successfully for some time now.” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “CBP officers are the first to encounter thousands of individuals at border crossings, so it is imperative to me that we train our officers on how and when to use this potentially life-saving countermeasure.”
Seven ports of entry will participate in the year-long pilot program including El Paso, Fort Lauderdale International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Laredo, San Luis, San Ysidro, and Seattle/Blaine. After a year, CBP will evaluate the program for future expansion.
"We commend CBP for taking this courageous step. Naloxone saves lives, plain and simple," said Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy. "The use of Naloxone by our nation's law enforcement and first responder agencies can be a crucial step to helping individuals with substance use disorders begin a life in recovery."
The program comes after Attorney General Eric Holder announced plans last year for federal law enforcement personnel to begin carrying Naloxone in response to the rise of overdose related deaths. According to a recent study, 110 Americans on average die from drug overdoses every day, outnumbering even deaths from gunshot wounds or motor vehicle crashes. In Quincy, Massachusetts giving the relatively small police department Naloxone has already reversed more than 200 overdoses.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.