Naloxone kits to be on hand in Virginia State Parks

Officers will carry them this year for the first time .

By John Carlin - Anchor

NATURAL BRIDGE, Va. - Ten and a half million people visit Virginia State Parks every year.

Whether it's hiking, camping, canoeing, or swimming -- it's a chance to get away from it all.  But if that getaway includes dangerous opioids, park police will be more ready than ever to deal with overdoses.

Park police are training this week in Natural Bridge. 

The first lesson is how and when to use naloxone kits provided by an $8,000 grant from the Department of Criminal Justice. 

Naloxone is a drug that can revive people who are near death after taking too many opioids, such as heroin. To date, there have been no fatal cases in any Virginia State Park, but authorities say it's just a matter of time.

"Managing a state park is like managing the small city. And people, society bring in their issues into the park. And this puts us in a place of being able to respond quickly and efficiently when the emergency arises," said Dave Summers, Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the state system.

The grant provides enough money for every officer to carry a kit with them, and replacements if necessary.

Replacements, the officers hope they won't need.

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