ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Ector County law enforcement is standing behind the FDA’s decision to make Narcan available over the counter, and believes the increased availability will help save lives in West Texas.

Representatives for both the Odessa Police Department and the Ector County Sheriff’s Office say that the public being able to purchase Narcan without a prescription is only a good thing, and that’s because their mission is saving lives and not locking people up.

“Our goal as officers is not to make as many arrests as we can or to issue as many citations as we can. Our goal is to save lives. We’re trying to think of long term solutions, rather than arresting the same person over and over again,” said Cpl. Steve LeSueur with the Odessa Police Department.

Purchasing Narcan without a prescription in the United States is expected to happen late this summer. The drug can reverse opioid overdoses which include fentanyl, and that’s a big reason it’s part of the toolkit of both OPD officers and Ector County Sheriff’s deputies.

“All of our units are equipped with Narcan, and they all carry it in case of such an issue coming up,” said Shirley Hardee with the Ector County Sheriff’s Office.

“We’ve had a lot of success, because as you know, as officers we see things from a different perspective. We respond to overdoses on a regular basis, so we see a side that the general public doesn’t see. And we have been using (Narcan), and we have had success,” said Cpl. LeSueur.