How eQuip! Supports Law Enforcement in Combatting the Opioid Epidemic
Last year, we helped a police department on the east coast to implement our asset management system. They use it to track an unusual type of asset: Narcan kits.
Narcan is commonly used by paramedics and other first responders to quickly reverse an opioid overdose. I would never have imagined that our software would be used to track this medicine, but as I read more about the crippling problem of the opioid epidemic and how our federal, state and local governments are dealing with it, it makes a lot of sense.
The opioid epidemic continues to cripple communities across the United States. Rural, suburban, urban and tribal communities have all been affected by this drug overdose crisis.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), of the more than 72,000 overdose deaths in the US in 2017, opioids were involved in over 49,000. This is an increase from 2016 where over 64,000 died from drug overdose, and opioids were involved in over 42,000.
To combat this problem, many law enforcement agencies are applying to federal grants for trace detection machines, Narcan kits, and data-sharing technology to document problems and save lives.
The Department of Health and Human Services has increased the number of grants available to local law enforcement agencies to combat the opioid epidemic.
- In 2017, Department of Health and Human Services announced $70M in grants in 2017. “Putting an end to the opioid crisis ravaging our country is a top priority for President Trump and all of us at the Department of Health and Human Services,” said HHS Secretary Tom Price.
- In 2018, DHHS increased the funding significantly. In September 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded over $1 billion in opioid-specific grants to help combat the crisis ravaging our country. “Addressing the opioid crisis with all the resources possible and the best science we have is a top priority for President Trump and for everyone at HHS,” said Secretary Alex Azar. “The more than $1 billion in additional funding that we provided will build on progress we have seen in tackling this epidemic through empowering communities and families on the frontlines.”
State and local law enforcement agencies not only get federal grants but also use private-public partnerships and state budgets to fund the purchase of Narcan kits. For example:
- In a May 2017 report, National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) said it through its partnership with a private organization it has trained more than 600 deputies and officers to administer naloxone and has distributed kits to 12 local law enforcement agencies in eight states: Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and The effort has saved more than 120 lives.
- In 2018, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) announced sustained funding for naloxone for first responder agencies statewide. For the first time this year, $100,000 in state funding was built into DPH’s budget to fund the purchase of naloxone. Previously, funding for naloxone was piecemeal, using funds from DHSS’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health and the Department of Justice’s State Law Enforcement Allocation Fund. State Emergency Medical Service programs provide grants. “We continue to lose too many of our loved ones and neighbors to the addiction epidemic,” said Governor John Carney. “Naloxone can give people a second chance to get medical care and be connected to resources to treat their addiction. This funding will allow more Delaware first responders to carry the medication and as a result save more lives.”
With more federal and state funding, more county sheriff’s departments are distributing Narcan kits to its deputies.
As part of the grant requirements, grantees are asked to provide audit history on how they have used the fund. Since Narcan kits are often distributed to law enforcement officers, the agencies need a centralized database to track the custody, total inventory, on-shelf date and expiration date of the inventory.
It’s especially critical for grantees to track the expiration date of the inventory. Law enforcement needs to ensure the efficacy and safety of their Narcan. Tracking will not only ensure government funding is being used correctly, but it will also save lives.
Having a centralized tracking solution makes this vital tracking easier and more accurate. That’s why many emergency managers now use asset management systems to track Narcan kits.
To find out more about how the eQuip! asset management software can help law enforcement departments to increase asset tracking efficiency, check out the webpage here.
If you would like to talk to our asset management specialist, you can fill a demo request on the right side of this page.