• Ocala police receive Narcan to help drug overdose patients

    By: Ty Russell , WFTV Web Staff


    OCALA, Fla. - Officers with the Ocala Police Department have an extra tool to help a person overdosing on drugs like heroin and fentanyl.

    The Centers, which provides mental health and addiction services, donated 200 Narcan nasal spray units Tuesday for all 167 officers with the police department.

    "This is part of a true national epidemic," said Steve Blank, with The Centers

    A spokesperson for The Centers said the Department of Children and Families donated the Narcan with the agreement the drug-fighting tool will be given to groups that really need it.

    There have been 53 overdoses in Ocala since January and 13 of them died, officials said.

    “We are very passionate about what we do and we understand that sometimes it's the people who you think won't make it are the folks who end up turning their lives around. So, everybody should be given an opportunity for that,” Blank said.

    The department also received Narcan in August for drug-sniffing dogs to make sure they don’t inhale a fatal dose.

    "One of the things we want to do is prevention," said Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn.

    Quinn told Channel 9's Ty Russell the city has a task force to help battle the heroin, ongoing drug problem, and a report citing recommendations on how to combat the issue will be released in a few months.

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