Community Members Learn About Lifesaving Overdose Drug
Nearly 600 people in Minnesota died from a drug overdose in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some Grand Rapids community members are getting trained on how to use a lifesaving overdose reversal medicine to prevent more from happening.
It’s an epidemic that has quickly grown over recent years. Even when properly prescribed, opiods can be highly addictive.
“Unfortunately, about four out of five heroin users were prescribed opiods legally,” said Pam Lanhart, a volunteer naloxone trainer with the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation.
When someone takes too much of a drug or believes the substance to be something else, their heart beat and breathing can rapidly decrease.
“If they’re not breating they have a chance of brain damage. And that’s really why having naloxone is so critical,” said Lanhart during the training.
Naloxone, also referred to by the brand name Narcan, can be administered for an overdose caused by a wide variety of drugs.
“Why this event was held today was to get people aware that we can get naloxone – we can save lives,” said Deb Noethe, the organizer of the event from the Garret Bethke Foundation.
Naloxone can be prescribed by a doctor and it does not necessarily require advanced training. However, the training teaches you how to properly administer it and how many doses might be needed.
“I wanted to get the training because I still have people from my past that still use opiods – that I know and went to high school with and things like that,” said Tyler Fentem.
Bree Erickson is a nurse and wanted to learn more in order to carry it with her. She hopes more people take a training to do the same.
“I mean, you never know when you’re going to run across somebody that might need your help,” said Erickson.
The Garret Bethke Foundation wants to work with local law enforcement to have their officers carry the drug with them while on the job.
Some pharmacies can provide Naloxone with a prescription if you are concerned for yourself or want to have it on-hand for others.