Focus on New Laws: Peace Officers Required to Carry and Be Trained on Use of Medication to Reverse Opioid Overdoses

September 18, 2023

As of Aug. 1, 2023, peace officers are required to carry and receive training on the use of opiate antagonists to treat a narcotics overdose and the state is providing naloxone free of charge via a newly launched portal.

In the 2023 legislative session, the Minnesota Legislature mandated the carrying of naloxone hydrochloride, an opiate or opioid antagonist that reverses opioid overdoses, to select groups in the state, expanding access to the medication as an intervention to prevent opioid overdose deaths in Minnesota.

Training requirement

Chapter 52, the omnibus public safety and judiciary bill, creates Minnesota Statutes, section 626.8443, which requires chief law enforcement officers (CLEOs) to provide basic training to peace officers employed by the chief’s agency on:

  • Identifying persons who are suffering from narcotics overdoses.
  • The proper use of opiate antagonists to treat a narcotics overdose.

Carry and supply requirement

Each on-duty peace officer who is assigned to respond to emergency calls must have at least two unexpired opiate antagonist doses readily available when their shift begins. An officer who depletes their supply of opiate antagonists during their shift shall replace the expended doses from the agency’s supply so long as replacing the doses will not compromise public safety.

A CLEO must authorize peace officers employed by the agency to perform administration of an opiate antagonist when an officer believes a person is suffering a narcotics overdose. The CLEO must maintain a sufficient supply of opiate antagonists to ensure that officers employed by the agency can comply with these requirements.

Minnesota naloxone portal launches

The Minnesota Department of Health in partnership with Department of Human Services has developed a web portal for groups that are mandated to carry opiate antagonists to treat a narcotics overdose. The Naloxone Standing Order and Portal, which launched on Sept. 12, 2023, can be used by these groups to order a particular type of nasal naloxone, Narcan, at no cost. It is intended to help meet the mandates such as two doses per school building, two doses per field officer, etc.

Groups are encouraged to order as needed and make multiple orders over time. The agencies ask that groups do not make extreme-sized orders to “stock up” for the long term, as this could affect availability for all groups in the state. The 4 mg nasal spray via Emergent BioSolutions is the only version available in this program.

The League encourages cities that have police departments to access the portal to ensure they are meeting the requirements of the new law.

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