Police in Knoxville start carrying life-saving drug

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Starting Friday, some police officers will start carrying more than just their guns and handcuffs. A life-saving drug is now within reach.

The Knoxville Police Department handed out Naloxone, which instantly reverses the effects of an opiate-caused overdose, to the first group of officers Friday.

State law now allows law enforcement to carry Naloxone and to administer it to those who are in distress.

According to the statistics from the Department of Health, there were 133 overdose deaths in Knox County in 2014.

"That is more than those who lost their lives in crashes. We've got to do something to turn that around. Naloxone will give us that opportunity," says Chief David Rausch.

Officials say most overdoses happen in the Rocky Hill area of West Knoxville.

Naloxone will be distributed to all officers as the department continues to receive the medical kits.