Ever since the state stepped up earlier this year with funding for anti-overdose medication, law enforcement agencies say they've been able to save numerous lives. But what will happen once that state money runs out? Alexa Green spoke with Southern Tier law officials to find out.
BROOME COUNTY N.Y. -- Just last month, Gov. Cuomo was in the Southern Tier to address the heroin epidemic he says plagues New York state. And law enforcement officials across the region agree, heroin use it out of control.
"Different ages and different income people are affected by heroin overdoses and when I looked into it, we had about 10 deaths since the beginning of February," Broome County Sheriff David Harder said.
A $5 million state grant equipped state and local departments with the medication Naxalone, better known as Narcan. The nasal spray is used to to reverse the effects of overdoses caused by heroin or other opioids.
"Just like any other thing, it's a tool for an officer to carry and they will get the opportunity to use it, and you know what, if one deputy uses it to save one life within one year, it's worth all the training and equipment," Republican lieutenant governor candidate Christopher Moss said.
Regardless of what happens with future state funds, Moss and Harder agree that Narcan is here to stay.
"As long as the heroin problem is out there, and it's still prevalent it will be there for us to use. If there ever comes a day when people stop using heroin and we don't have to worry about it then we'll do away with it," Harder said.
"When you ask how we're going to fund out after the grants run out, I think most departments are going to see it's a successful tool for deputies to have and now that they have that tool. They'll try to get in in their budget or find other grant means to get in in their program," Moss said.
Both men agree that Narcan is just too important to do away with and believe departments will find a way to keep it around.
Each Narcan kit costs about $60, and the medication is good for up to two years.