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MAYWOOD, Ill. — Thirty police departments from around the area are beginning a Narcan training program to fight the opioid crisis.

Last year, there were more than 1,000 opioid deaths in Cook County.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle put it in perspective.

“That’s three times more than were caused by car accidents in the same period,” Preckwinkle said.

Through a $311,000 federal grant, Loyola University today joined with the Cook County Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management to begin training more than 1,900 officers from 30 Cook County police departments, the Sheriff’s Department and Forest Preserve Police.

Loyola’s Emergency Medicine Chairman, Dr. Mark Cichon says the nasal spray is a life-saving antidote.

“Too often, we’ve seen patients who didn’t receive Narcan in time.  Many of them died or received brain injuries leaving them in a persistent, vegetative state,” Cichon said.