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New Maine law requires on-duty law enforcement to carry Narcan

Joe Solomon, co-director of Charleston-based Solutions Oriented Addiction Response, holds a dose of the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Charleston in Charleston, W.Va., Tuesday Sept. 6, 2022.
Leah Willingham
/
AP file
Joe Solomon, co-director of Charleston-based Solutions Oriented Addiction Response, holds a dose of the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Charleston in Charleston, W.Va., Tuesday Sept. 6, 2022.

A new state law requires on-duty law enforcement patrol officers in Maine to carry the opioid-overdose reversal drug Narcan.

Auburn police chief Jason Moen says many departments already require it. He says Auburn adopted the policy roughly eight years ago in response to the proliferation of fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid.

"We were seeing a lot of overdoses when that was first introduced, so it made sense to help save lives to start carrying that, because it reverses the effects pretty quickly for fentanyl," Moen says.

Through October of last year, 513 people in Maine died from a drug overdose, and records were set in each of the three previous years.