ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Opioid overdoses can turn deadly fast. And with the addiction growing among college-age students, the University System of Georgia (USG) is hoping to prevent these types of tragedies.
On Tuesday, February 14, 2017, the USG announced that all state university campuses will soon have the opioid antidote, naloxone.
First responders already use naloxone when they deal with a drug overdose. The emergency drug works to block the effects of the opioid until the individual can be treated at a hospital.
The Center for Disease Control reports that, each year, around 1,000 people die from an overdose in the State of Georgia.
Albany State University's Chief of Police John Fields told WALB News 10 that he hasn't seen a problem with opioid drugs on campus, but his officers will still be prepared.
"It's always beneficial to be prepared, be cautious, just in case," Fields said.
Chief Fields said that the antidotes have been ordered for the campus. Once the drugs arrive, campus officers will be trained on how to issue the emergency drug and they will be stored inside the police cars.
Chief Fields said the antidotes will not only help those at Albany State University, it'll also help those in the area.
"It doesn't necessarily have to be a student on campus, it can be someone in our campus community, so we just want to make sure that we are prepared," Fields said.
The university's police department includes a 500-yard jurisdiction around the Albany campuses.
In addition to the emergency drugs, the campus police department is also rolling out emergency bookbags that include a number of tools that will help officers in emergency situations.
One bag will remain on Albany State University's East Campus and the other will go to the West Campus on Gillionville Road.