Akron police officers have been carrying the opioid antidote naloxone for less than a week — and have already used it twice.



An officer administered a dose of naloxone at 4 p.m. Tuesday to a 55-year-old man in the 2100 block of 16th Street Southwest. An hour later, another officer gave naloxone to a 26-year-old man in the 100 block of Roswell Street.



In both cases, naloxone worked. Paramedics transported the men to local hospitals for further treatment, said Lt. Rick Edwards, police spokesman.



“It is very effective,” he said.



Akron police supervisors were trained in using naloxone last week and then shared this training with the officers on their shifts. Officers began carrying the antidote in their cruisers Sunday.



Having officers carry naloxone, which sometimes goes by the brand name Narcan, is one of the steps being used nationally in response to a huge increase in opioid overdose deaths. Several other local police departments, including Barberton and Cuyahoga Falls, also have armed their officers with the antidote.



Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan pushed for this step to be taken in Akron and was pleased to hear the naloxone in cruisers already has been put to good use.



“As we continue to strengthen programs and services available to opiate-addicted individuals within the city and county, we will make it a priority to save lives and rehabilitate, while also educating our city’s younger generations and eventually ending the cycle of opiate abuse,” Horrigan said in a written statement.



Stephanie Warsmith can be reached at 330-996-3705 or swarsmith@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow on Twitter: @swarsmithabj and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/swarsmith.