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St. Louis County police to carry heroin antidote Narcan

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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) _ St. Louis County police officers will soon carry the heroin antidote Narcan.

Training for use of the antidote is scheduled to start Thursday, soon after a news conference detailing the plan. The department says all commissioned police personnel will be trained in use of the medication, and it will be available in every county patrol vehicle.

St. Louis County reported more than 90 heroin-related deaths last year. Police Chief Jon Belmar says the nasal spray Narcan gives police a chance to help save lives.

A state law passed in 2014 allows police departments to carry and use Narcan, but so far, few do. The medication can also serve as an antidote for overdoses caused by prescription opioid medications such as morphine, codeine and oxycodone.