BART police will soon begin carrying Narcan. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

BART police to carry life-saving drug Narcan

Fast-acting nasal spray can prevent overdose deaths

By the end of May, all BART police officers will be equipped with a life-saving medication that can stop an opioid overdose in its tracks.

Narcan, also known by its generic name naloxone, is a single-use nasal spray that can block the effects of opiates including heroin and fentanyl.

Available at pharmacies in California without a prescription, Narcan is increasingly carried by police officers and other first responders who may be called upon to help someone having an overdose. San Francisco police have carried it since 2015.

BART police have been slower to adopt the life-saving medication, previously citing concerns about training, logistics and potential risks, as SF Weekly has previously reported.

However, all BART officers have now been trained the administer Narcan and a policy has been adopted for its use. All officers are expected to be equipped with it by the end of the month.

“It’s a public health concern,” Armando Sandoval, BART’s community outreach liaison and crisis intervention team coordinator, said in a statement. “We have a choice either to be proactive by getting out in front of it or we can choose to get out of the way. We choose to be proactive.”

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