Nick Learned, Townsquare Media

Albany County Sheriff's deputies have been trained to use a nasal spray that can reverse the effects of opioid overdoses.

Sheriff David O’Malley said the hope is that access to naloxone, or narcan spray,  will reduce drug-related deaths in Albany county.

“There has been a huge increase in the use and abuse of opioids, not just in Albany county but across the nation,” O’Malley said.

O’Malley said there have been several overdose deaths in Albany County in past years.

“It can take a long time to get to some locations and we [Sheriff’s department] usually get there before emergency medical services- if a person is exhibiting symptoms of an opioid overdose, the deputies that have the narcan available can save a life before medical services arrive,” O’Malley said.

Naloxone is a medication administered by nasal spray to a person who has overdosed on opioids. Opioids include prescription medication such as oxycodone and hydrocodone or an illegal drug such as heroin. They cause fatalities by causing people to stop breathing.

Naloxone temporarily reverses the effects of the opioids and allows the victim to regain consciousness and resume normal breathing. There are no negative effects if the drug is administered to someone not experiencing an overdose.