MADISON, NC -- Some of the Triad's smallest cities are trying to tackle one of the nation's biggest problems.

North Carolina is one of several states dealing with an opioid crisis.

Abuse and overdose numbers are rising across the state.

The problem is getting so bad, some small town police departments are even changing the way they train their officers.

150 different law enforcement agencies in North Carolina are now using the life saving drug Narcan to revive people who have overdosed on heroin.

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Police officers are carrying it in Mayodan, Eden, Mebane, and now in Madison.

Lt. Scott Smith with the Madison Police Department says the opioid problem is getting worse.

"From poor to rich, no matter what background you come from, it's affecting all people,” said Smith. “From what I've seen, it's people coming from good families. It's affecting them also. The drug is not discriminatory."

The town of Madison has a population of only about 2,000 people but police say they respond to several overdose calls every week.

As of last month, all of their patrol cars now have Narcan and each officer has been trained on how to revive someone who has overdosed.

Police say it's "a must have tool" to keep up with the growing heroin epidemic.

“The initial response on scene is crucial,” said Smith. “Once it is administered, it starts breaking down the effects of the drug and it increases their chance of survival greatly."

Smith says police get a lot of overdose calls in the rural areas because those are the places where people go to use opioids.

Smith says addicts don't think they are going to be watched by the police as much as in the bigger cities.

Madison police also plan to equip their officers with body cameras in the next two weeks.

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