NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and The Associated Press

NORTH SCITUATE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island state police are being equipped to use naloxone, also known as Narcan, to help reverse opiate overdoses.

State police superintendent Col. Steven O'Donnell Friday at a news conference with public health director Dr. Michael Fine and other officials that 300 single-dose kits of naloxone nasal spray are being distributed to state police, sheriff's departments and Capitol police. Most of the kits will go to state troopers and detectives who have already completed training.

The $35 kits are funded through federal drug forfeitures.

Naloxone already is being used by emergency medical responders. Local police agencies plan similar programs.

The state reported 85 accidental drug overdose deaths by mid-April.

Abuse of the powerful prescription painkiller fentanyl, sometimes with heroin, is being blamed for an increase in overdose deaths around the country.