ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis County Police Department, Eureka Police Department and the Missouri Opioid-Heroin Overdose Prevention Education Project announced a joint effort to reduce opioid overdose deaths in the region.

Christian Hospital EMS also announced it will begin a naloxone distribution program for heavily impacted communities.

The MO-HOPE Project provides training to officers within each department on conducting overdose education and naloxone distribution with opioid overdoses. 

The project will also provide Narcan for the departments to distribute.

"Naloxone plus programs have had great success in other states," said Brandon Costerison, project manager of the MO-HOPE Project. "We are excited that these two police departments are leading the way in Missouri, enacting bold, innovative strategies to help saves lives."

The MO-HOPE Project and a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant awarded to the Missouri Department of Mental Health in 2016 is funding the training and providing the naloxone.

The collaboration is the first of its kind in the state.

"In our service area we have experienced an epidemic of opioid overdoses," said Brian Hokamp, chief of Christian Hospital Emergency Medical Services. "Instead of just taking a reactive approach to treating those with a substance use disorder, CHEMS is taking a proactive stance."

According to the St. Louis County Police Department and the Eureka Police Department, this multifaceted program will attack the issue on multiple fronts and help reduce addiction in the region.