Berrien County Health Department offers Narcan training

NOW: Berrien County Health Department offers Narcan training

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NILES, Mich.-- August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day and the Berrien County Health Department is making it easier for people to prevent overdose deaths with drive-thru Narcan training.

It takes only 15 minutes for people to drive up and learn how to save a life. Health experts here not only provide a step-by-step guide, but they also help reduce the stigma by sharing resources.

The first 50 participants receive a Narcan kit. In addition to two doses of Narcan spray, there are a variety of resources for aftercare inside.

Narcan is a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdoses.

Lisa Peeple-Hurst, the public health promotion and prevention supervisor at the Berrien County Health Department says Opioid overdoses are the number one cause of preventable death for those ages 15 to 65 in the county, so the training is beneficial for people of all walks of life.

“We could be talking to school secretaries today. We could be talking to business owners. We could be talking to people who have lost someone from substance-use disorder. They just want to have access to this Narcan in case of an emergency,” said Peeples-Hurst.

After registering, a trainer like Shannon Larry-Burton, a prevention specialist at the Berrien County Health Department, will share information on how to recognize an overdose.

“Shallow breathing or gurgling, pale or flushed skin, blue lips or fingertips, foaming at the mouth or nose can also indicate overdose, but may be hard to recognize when not present. An indication that medical attention is needed, is that the person is unresponsive,” Larry-Burton shared.

Next, you're taught how to respond using an easy acronym: SCARE ME.

S is for Stimulation: check to see if they’re responsive.
C is for Call: Call 9-1-1 for additional medical attention. With the Good Samaritan Law, you won’t have to worry about prosecution in Michigan or Indiana.
A is for Airways: Check to make sure the airways are clear.
R is for Rescue breathing
E is for evaluation: Is the person getting any better? If not, maybe it’s time for a dose of Narcan.

M is for Medicine: Either muscular injection or mucosal atomization or nasal spray, using one dose in one nostril while checking their breathing. 
E is for evaluation: Again, is the person getting any better? Maybe they’ll need another dose.

You can learn more about Narcan training in your area by contacting your local health department. The Berrien County Health Department offers training year-round.

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