WESTOVER — In just one month’s time, the Somerset County Health Department is reporting eight overdose reversals through the use of Narcan, a life-saving medication that can quickly restore the breathing of a person who has overdosed on heroin or prescription opioid pain medication.
Anyone from a police officer to a family member or friend can administer Narcan to save a life from overdose. To help address the opioid addiction epidemic the local community and Delmarva region are facing, the Somerset County Health Department is offering FREE Narcan training to qualifying individuals who live or work in Somerset County the first Monday of each month.
“We wanted to make the training more accessible to people and thought that a standing date, the same day every month, would be easier for people to build into their schedule and remember.
What: FREE Narcan Training
When: 1st Monday of Each Month, 5:30pm
Where: 8928 Sign Post Road, Westover
To register call: 443-523-1790
The hour long training includes a core curriculum that includes information about prescription and non-pharmaceutical opioids and recognizing the signs and symptoms of a drug overdose. The training also informs participants how to properly respond to an overdose incident.
“This is an effort to get Narcan in the hands of those in a position to reverse an overdose no matter what the reason. It could be from an accidental misuse overdose, the opioid falling into the wrong hands or an adverse reaction to the prescribed drug. We want to give people every opportunity to save lives.”
New Narcan Nasal Spray
Participants will also be introduced to the Narcan nasal spray. The new device requires no assembly and administers the Narcan to the individual in one easy dose.
“With just one press, the Narcan is delivered full throttle up one nostril,” said Matey Barker, Somerset County Health Department, behavioral health director. “This means the person administering the Narcan doesn’t have to worry about measuring the amount being given. It’s one less thing to think about when panic strikes and someone’s life is on the line.”
More about Naloxone
Naloxone, marketed under the trade name Narcan®, is a life-saving medication that can quickly restore the breathing of a person who has overdosed on heroin or prescription opioid pain medication like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl or methadone. It works only on opioid overdoses, reversing them by blocking the receptors in the brain where opiates attach. Overdose victims usually resume breathing and awaken within minutes. Narcan is not a substitute for emergency medical care. Narcan is not a narcotic and cannot be abused. It has been widely tested and has no significant side effects. In other words, you cannot harm an individual by administering it.
At the conclusion of the training, participants will be issued a certificate which they can present at Karemore Pharmacy in Princess Anne or Marion Pharmacy in Crisfield to receive the Narcan medication at no cost. They may present the certificate at the pharmacy for a refill after administering Narcan. DHMH issued a state wide standing order for certificate holders, so it is no longer necessary to obtain a prescription for Narcan.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose
- Loud snoring or gurgling noises
- Body very limp
- Skin pale/gray, clammy
- Lips/fingertips turn blue
- Pulse slow or erratic
- Breathing very slow, shallow, or not at all
Responding to an opioid overdose
- Rouse and Stimulate
- Call 9-1-1
- Give Naloxone
- Further resuscitation
- Care for the person
Good Samaritan Law
The Good Samaritan Law provides criminal immunity to a person who in good faith provides or seeks medical assistance for another person who may be experiencing an overdose. In other words, if an individual calls 911 seeking medical attention for an overdose and remains with the person until a first responder arrives they are immune from criminal charges.