So far this year, Nampa police have been called to 62 reports of drug-related overdoses. While not all cases involved opiates, they say the trend is on the rise, which has prompted them to add a new tool to their belt.
In the 1990s, Nampa Police Department patrol officers rarely encountered opiates. Examples of these types of drugs include prescription pills such as oxycodone and the illegal ones like heroin.
So far in 2016, they've logged 17 cases where heroin was found and seized.
"Heroin is becoming more available to people," said Lt. Eric Skoglund, Nampa Police Department.
While the cases of opioid-related drug overdoses are no where near as high compared to other parts of the country, it's something NPD officials want to get a handle on.
Besides continuing on with work to identify and stop supply sources, they will soon all be armed with a life-saving tool. It's a naloxone nasal spray that can be administered to someone who has intentionally or accidentally overdosed on opiates.
After all, officers can very well be the first to arrive, which is why they're now being trained on how to step in, recognize the situation at hand and act quickly when every second counts.
Lt. Skoglund encourages people to avoid going down that route in the first place.
"From a law enforcement perspective, obviously, we're out to get the people who are providing this in our community because of what this leads to," Skoglund said. "These are highly addictive drugs and it is not a habit that is broken easily."
Lt. Skoglund says all too often it takes a tragedy to get the public's attention. However, he's hoping people will choose to get back on track on their own as even regular users could get a fatal dose.
The majority of Nampa's patrol officers will have completed this training by the first part of Dec.