PETERSBURG, Va. -- Colonial Heights and Petersburg Police Departments received 800 donated auto injectors to help with opioid overdoses.
Kaleo, a company headquartered in Richmond, produces a unique Naloxone auto injector named Evzio.
Eric Edwards, the Vice President of Innovation for Kaleo, serves as a paramedic in Chesterfield County. He said that this past Sunday evening, there were multiple opioid overdose emergency calls.
Through a grant Kaleo donate the auto injectors.
Heroin and opioid overdoses continue to rise in Colonial Heights and Petersburg.
"This threat does not discriminate, it affects people of all walks of life, ages, genders, rich and poor and is increasing in our community,” said Dr. Dusty Anderson, Medical Director Colonial Heights and Petersburg Fire and EMS.
"We've already surpassed our overdoses from the entire year of 2016, already in 2017,” said Dr. Anderson.
It’s not just heroin and opioid users who are at risk of overdose.
First responders have also overdosed while reviving patients.
"The potency of these medications that our providers are being exposed, 10,000 times more potent than our street drugs we've come to be seeing 10-15 years ago,” Anderson said.
"So our officers now, having this antidote, they can treat themselves, fellow officers, they can treat the EMS Providers if they’re exposed to these dangerous drugs and they have the opportunity to treat the general public,” said Chief Jeff Faries, of Colonial Heights Police.
"I have a duty as a police chief to protect them, that way then can render proper assistance and proper aid,” said Chief Kenneth Miller, Petersburg Police Department.
Earlier this year Kaleo received criticism from a group of senators who wanted to know why the price of Evzio jumped from $690 to $4500, in three years.