By Joan Murray

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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – With opioid-related drug overdoses on the rise, Fort Lauderdale police officers are being armed with a powerful weapon.

Officers are training to use the nasal spray Narcan on people suspected of an opioid overdose.

Narcan provides an immediate temporary reversal of the narcotic effects and can save lives.

Firefighters and paramedics in Fort Lauderdale carry Narcan, but having police officers equipped can save time in treating a patient.

Related: Is Medical Cannabis The Cure To Our Opioid Epidemic?

CBS4 has documented the devastating impact of opioid addiction in South Florida.

Thousands have died in Florida and the governor has declared a state of emergency to combat the epidemic.