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Anti-heroin drug Narcan saves another Minnesota overdose victim

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The Twin Cities' ongoing heroin problem has claimed more victims, but thanks to recent efforts to combat overdoses, at least one of those people is still alive.

According to a Facebook post from the Eden Prairie Police Department (EPPD), the city has seen three heroin overdoses over the past month, two of them fatal, and all involving "young adults in their 20s."

The Eden Prairie News reported earlier this week that two of the incidents occurred on the same weekend.

The survivor, police say, was given Nalaxone – also known as Narcan – by first responders. They credited the medication – which works by "counteracting the life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system" – with saving the person's life.

The timing was fortuitous, in this victim's case. EPPD officers, as well as the city's firefighters, were trained to administer the drug this fall, the Facebook post notes. Eden Prairie cops now carry Nalaxone in their squad cars.

"It is the department’s hope that by carrying and administering Naloxone, heroin users will survive and get the help they need to beat their addiction," EPPD says.

An 'epidemic'

Eden Prairie police certainly aren't alone in embracing the medication – late last month, the Steve Rummier Hope Foundation hosted public training sessions in the Twin Cities to show people how to administer Narcan, which is legal for citizens to carry in Minnesota.

The group was spurred by a rash of heroin overdoses in Minneapolis, which some believed may have been caused by a bad batch of the opioid.

This comes amid an alarming spike in heroin-related deaths not only in Minnesota, but also across the country. The problem has become so pervasive that the Obama Administration recently announced steps to combat the spread of opioids and prescription drug abuse, which the Centers for Disease Control has called an epidemic. 

Last year, Minnesota lawmakers authorized emergency personnel to use and carry Nalaxone in response to the problem.

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