Kennesaw State University became the first college in Georgia to train campus police to administer a drug that can reverse the effects of a drug overdose.
The drug, Naloxone, is a nasal spray that officers can administer on the scene. It works to immediately reverse the effects of opiates such as heroin and OxyContin.
"There are many law enforcement agencies that are already carrying Naloxone," said Tanya Smith, KSU's Naloxone program coordinator. "There's been 10,000 reversals as of the last information that we got which was in April, so we know that it works."
Smith is a former Holly Springs police officer whose daughter died of a drug overdose in August of 2013.
She worked to get the Holly Springs police department to carry Naloxone. It became the first law enforcement agency in Georgia to do so.
Smith said she wanted to ensure students are safe so she launched the program at KSU.
"This is a proactive measure that we can take to save a life while they're here at KSU," said Smith.
KSU's police chief and public safety director, Roger Lee Stearns, said arming officers with Naloxone was not in response to any specific incident or a growing concern with drug use.
"It is now an available resource to law enforcement in Georgia, and I feel I have a responsibility as the chief to pursue that and get that in the hands of the officers because it may save a student's life," said Stearns.
KSU has 40 police officers. All were trained on Wednesday to administer Naloxone.
"Nothing is more important regarding our response than the opportunity to save a life," said Stearns.
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