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ADOT officers trained to identify, respond to opioid overdoses

2018 goal: Have 200 officers ready to administer Naloxone
August 15, 2018

PHOENIX – While working at ports of entry to ensure that commercial vehicles have the proper permits and can operate safely on state highways, Arizona Department of Transportation officers have to be ready for situations in which they’re called upon to help save a life.

That’s why nearly 100 officers, part of ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division, have been trained so far to identify opioid overdoses and administer a drug to reverse the effects.

“One of the worst feelings as a law enforcement officer is being unable to help someone in an emergency situation,” said Sergeant Sean Dalley with the Enforcement and Compliance Division. “Having the right tools and knowing how to use them is a way to ensure we are always in a position to act fast when called upon.”

ADOT officers who have gone through the training now carry Naloxone, a type of drug known as an opioid antagonist.

“This kind of training allows our officers to respond quickly to various types of situations at the ports of entry and in the field,” said Tim Lane, director of the Enforcement and Compliance Division. “ADOT looks to do its part in helping combat opioid abuse in Arizona.”

ADOT has set a goal of training an additional 100 officers before year’s end.

Since Governor Doug Ducey declared a statewide emergency in June 2017 to address opioid overdoses and deaths, Arizona has expanded access to Naloxone and training among first responders. The Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, passed in January, enables county health department employees, detention officers, police aides and other ancillary law enforcement and corrections officers to administer such drugs.

“Training and equipping more responders, including officers at commercial ports of entry, is another way we are taking serious action in response to the statewide emergency of opioid overdoses and deaths,” Governor Doug Ducey said. “Too many Arizonans lose their lives as a result of an opioid overdose, and Arizona will continue to be vigilant in combating this epidemic."

The first training for ADOT officers, offered by the Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority in partnership with the Arizona Department of Health Services, consisted of identifying opioid overdoses and administering Naloxone. Officers also learned CPR, trauma response and how to protect themselves from opioid exposure.

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Civil Rights

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other nondiscrimination laws and authorities, ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at civilrightsoffice@azdot.gov. Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés) y otras normas y leyes antidiscriminatorias, el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT) no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, origen nacional, sexo, edad o discapacidad. Las personas que requieran asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles de ADOT en civilrightsoffice@azdot.gov. Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más antes posible para asegurar que el Estado tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.