Naloxone Training at New York State Fair
Author: Justin Mckibben
When you think of a State Fair, you think of what? Food trucks and cotton candy? Impossibly difficult carnival games that seem way easier than they are? Crazy rides and a village of knick knack vendors? Or do you think of raising awareness and being equipped with medical emergency gear for drug overdoses?
The state of New York is vamping up its resources and programs to fight the ongoing heroin and opiate addiction epidemic. Not only is there a drastic increase in people seeking heroin and prescription opioid treatment, there is also a great deal on concern for the ongoing issues with overdoses in New York. So, in light of all the progress being made toward expanding access to treatment, New York is also giving more power to their people.
Naloxone is the generic brand of Narcan, the opiate overdose antidote. Programs are popping up everywhere in America trying to expand access to this life-saving medication in order to curb the devastating loss of life in the country. New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that 12 New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) Addiction Treatment Centers (ATCs) in several communities will offer training sessions on opioid overdose prevention.
But the impressive piece of news comes at an even more public venue. This year visitors at the New York State Fair were given the chance to receive one-on-one training from ACR Health to use Naloxone.
Naloxone Training Day
The various training sessions across the state allow participants to learn:
- How to recognize an overdose
- What to do during an overdose
- How to provide rescue breathing during an overdose
- How to administer naloxone
Not only are these training sessions free to both the public and first responders, but also upon completion of the training, participants will be certified to administer naloxone and will receive a free naloxone rescue kit.
The New York State Fair was one of the several training sessions being held across the State in response to the growing heroin epidemic.
Making It Personal
For Dalziell and other trainers at ACR Health, this new enthusiasm for the training effort is a personal mission. That’s because the ACR team suffered a great tragedy when a 24 year old staff member named Kevin Parker died a month ago. Diana Dalziell of ACR said,
“It’s out there everywhere, so if you’re prepared, you can help somebody,”
Another ACR Health trainer, Erin Bortel, stated:
“We’ve lost 3 or 4 people who are very close to our agency in just the last couple of weeks, including a staff member,”
Kevin Parker’s job was to help others find support. Unfortunately, those closest to him who could have helped had no idea just how much he was struggling with addiction. Bortel went on to say,
“I’m in this field because I lost someone to an overdose a decade ago and Naloxone wasn’t available at the time. I think back if that had happened 10-years ago and I had Naloxone on me, could have I helped?”
That is the kind of reality that sets in now. With this life-saving resource at our disposal, how many can we possibly save? Then when you think back, who isn’t here that could be? So many public officials and politicians are finally seeing how incredibly important it is to have these Naloxone kits available and have people able to understand how to use them.
ACR Health is making this a big package deal at this point. If you do the training with ACR, they give you a kit with:
- Two Naloxone syringes
- Alcohol pads
- Directions right on the kit in case you forget any of the steps
Governor Cuomo believes that strengthening the community and putting people together will help New York keep heroin from tearing it apart. Cuomo said that proper training will ensure safe and effective administration of the medication by families of addicts, community members and first responders on the front lines.
Expanding access to Naloxone and Narcan are just one progressive initiative being used to help fight heroin addiction and overdose death. On top of these preventative measures, effective and holistic treatment is huge for helping make a difference.
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