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Mississippi officers to carry naloxone, opiate overdose antidote

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi State Troopers and other state law enforcement will begin carrying an overdose antidote.

Gov. Phil Bryant and other officials announced the move Thursday, the first result of a state task force that’s trying to combat opioid drug abuse and overdoses.

Bryant says he’s lobbying professional licensing boards to reduce prescription sizes for abused drugs. He says he’ll seek state or federal funding for other recommendations, such as increasing treatment beds.

The Department of Mental Health is issuing 1,450 doses of naloxone nasal spray to troopers and narcotics agents, paying for it with part of a $3.6 million federal grant.

The department will also issue the antidote to police and sheriff’s departments, starting in Lincoln, Pike and Walthall counties.

Last year, 211 people died from overdoses in Mississippi.