ROANOKE, Va. -

It's called Naloxone, a miracle drug capable of reversing the effects of a drug overdose almost instantaneously.

Two months ago, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he wants all first responders to have easy access to it.

On Wednesday, during his visit in Roanoke to announce new drug policies, Obama's top drug czar said the same thing.

All the Advanced EMS responders from the New River Valley to Pittsylvania County do, but none of the police do.

The drug works for overdoses on opioid drugs like heroin and prescription painkillers, keeping patients alive until they can get more medical care.

Roanoke Fire and EMS Deputy Chief Billy Altman says for the most part this drug is safe and fast.

"You're talking within 15 and 30 seconds that patient is either breathing better," said Altman.

Naloxone has been a mainstay of ambulances in our area for nearly 35 years.  Since Attorney General Eric Holder said he wants to get the drug in police hands too, a few states in the northeast, namely Massachusetts and New York, have made it happen.

But officers in Virginia don't have it for two main reasons.

The first, Naloxone is a controlled substance.

In order to have officers carry the automatically injecting drug, state regulations would need to change.

"The regulations could allow law enforcement officers to carry medication in one form or another, probably in the auto-injector form," said Rob Logan. Logan is the Executive Director of the Western Virginia Council of Emergency Medical Services.  In short, the group standardizes some of the policies and procedures for EMS crews for much of the WDBJ7 viewing area.

The auto-injector was just approved for widespread use by the Federal Drug Administration.

Billy Altman says the other reason officers don't have these drugs already is the cost.

The auto-injection tube is expensive and needs replacing when it expires.

While there is a heroin and prescription drug abuse problem in our area, he says EMT typically responds fast enough to administer it.

That doesn't always happen in larger cities.

"It's not a 365 day thing where we use it everyday. We use it maybe a few times a month is about it, we don't have a big rash of overdoses," Altman said.

Billy Altman with Roanoke Fire and EMS says he wishes all public safety could have access to the drug at all times, but the money just doesn't make sense because there's no disparity between with EMS and Police respond to a call.

Those states like Massachusetts and New York where many officers now have it.

Altman says in the cities where overdoses are more widespread, it's much more practical.