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Walsh: City First Responders Must Carry ‘Narcan’

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Naloxone Hydrochloride, also known as Narcan, is a nasal spray used as an antidote for opiate drug overdoses. (Image courtesy: CBS News)

Naloxone Hydrochloride, also known as Narcan, is a nasal spray used as an antidote for opiate drug overdoses. (Image courtesy: CBS News)

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BOSTON (CBS) —Mayor Marty Walsh says all first responders will soon carry overdose reversal medication “Narcan.”

It’s part of a new plan for the city and its partners to cut substance abuse. Mayor Marty Walsh outlined his plans and announced a series of community-based workshops to help residents navigate the substance abuse system during a Tuesday news conference.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Carl Stevens reports

While EMTs and paramedics from Boston EMS already carry Narcan, Walsh wants training expanded to include the Boston Fire and Police departments, so that all first responders have access.

State officials announced in September, 2,000 people have been saved from a drug overdose by the state’s Naloxone program, which provides nasal spray kits that block the effects of heroin and other opiates.

“There’s a stigma around drug and alcohol addiction that keeps too many people from getting the help they desperately need, and that has to change,” Walsh said. “I know the battle against addiction can’t be won alone. Increasing access to education and treatment options is one of the best things we can do to combat the stigma and give people a fighting chance at recovery.”

As of last week, Boston EMS had administered Narcan 52 times since the beginning of the year compared to 41 times between the same time period in 2013.

The spray kits are available in 15 cities around the state.

MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

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