L.A. County Sheriff's deputies to carry drug that can stop opioid overdose

- The opioid crisis has been called the worst epidemic in U.S. history. It's the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.

The  L.A. County Sheriff's department is becoming the largest law enforcement agency in the country to equip its deputies with a drug that can stop an opioid overdose.

The department is handing out Narcan nasal spray kits to 600 deputies, and they want to get the drug to more than 3,000 of its street cops by the end of the year,  according to Commander Judy Gerhardt.

Narcan is a prescription medicine that blocks the effects of opioids and can reverse an opiate overdose caused by drugs like heroin, oxycodone and methadone, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

With proper training, naloxone can be safely administered by police officers and family members. The drug is delivered by injection or with a nasal spray.

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