Get free naloxone, learn to use it

Last September, about 90 volunteers, together with members of the Monongalia County Quick Response Team (QRT), distributed greater than 700 two-dose kits of naloxone and instructed people on learn how to use it.

Seven months later, members of the Monongalia County QRT might be at it once more from 10 a.m. to five p.m. May 7, with the purpose of handing out greater than 2,000 doses, as soon as once more in two-dose kits, of the drug additionally known as Narcan, which reverses the consequences of an opioid overdose.

“Our community has made great strides in working together to fight the opioid epidemic,” stated Russell Wyatt, a peer restoration coach with West Virginia Sober Living and a member of the QRT, who led the organizing effort of the unique Save a Life Day. “I believe this is a great opportunity for us to continue the good work.”

This time, along with instructing naloxone administration and giving freely free kits, COVID-19 vaccines might be out there at 5 places. “Additionally, we’ll provide rapid HIV testing at the Sabraton McDonald’s,” stated Brittany Irick, coordinator of the Monongalia County QRT.

Eleven stations staffed with about eight volunteers every might be arrange at places round Monongalia County. Anyone taken with studying extra about naloxone is inspired to cease at one of many stations.

“Our goal is to save as many lives as possible,” stated Jon Dower, director of operations of West Virginia Sober Living and a member of the Monongalia County QRT. “Education and dispelling myths related to naloxone allow for a reduction in stigma and encourages our community to be part of the solution to this disease plaguing our community and our state.”

The opioid epidemic that has the nation has hit West Virginia and different components of Appalachia onerous. It’s been precisely three years since members of the Monongalia County QRT started assembly at Monongalia County Health Department, which secured grant funding for the group.

While the COVID pandemic has undoubtedly had unfavourable results on people battling habit, the rise of on-line digital conferences, similar to on Zoom, has allowed the QRT to develop past county and state borders, making it a lot simpler to alternate concepts and discover options to assist folks.

QRT members additionally hear in regards to the newest tendencies of what medication are out on the streets. “Recently, there has been an increased incidence of fentanyl added to other drugs like cocaine, methamphetamines and ecstasy,” stated Joe Klass, chief of operations of MCHD Threat Preparedness and a paramedic, who teaches naloxone administration.

“There are also numerous reports of fentanyl being pressed into pills to resemble other types of medications,” Klass continued. “These types of counterfeit pills are often very difficult to spot. One of the takeaways from this is the importance of having naloxone and naloxone training, even if you don’t think you will have any interactions with opioids or opioid use.”

Dower believes that people ought to take into account holding naloxone of their first help kits and residential drugs cupboards.

“The community should understand that not all overdoses are related to substance misuse. There are accidental ingestions of pain medication by children and the elderly. If a home has opioid pain medication, I also encourage that naloxone be kept nearby,” Dower stated.

QRT member Dan McCawley of WV PEERS, a community of licensed peer restoration coaches (PRCs) with lived habit expertise, stated that on Save a Life Day, people might be skilled one-on-one or as small teams of individuals, based mostly on whoever exhibits up at a location.

“We’ll just train them as they arrive, however it works best,” he added. “If just one person rolls up, we’ll teach them too.”

Locations this yr are: 5 McDonald’s eating places — Sabraton, Star City, Westover, Suncrest Towne Centre and Pierpont Center; the inexperienced area at WVU’s Mountainlair and the WVU Rec Center; Pierpont Landing Pharmacy; 7-Eleven in Blacksville; Hotel M on Saratoga Avenue and Woodland United Methodist Church on the Mileground.

Additionally, COVID vaccines might be out there on the Sabraton and Westover McDonald’s; the Mountainlair; Hotel M and Woodland United Methodist Church. Individuals getting a second dose or a booster ought to deliver a vaccination card if they will.

The Monongalia County QRT is made up of members representing Monongalia County Health Department, which secured grant funding to ascertain the group; WV PEERS; different habit specialists; legislation enforcement; EMS; well being care employees; social companies; religion teams and extra.

When MECCA 911, EMS or a police division get a report of a person who has overdosed, it’s shared to a HIPAA-compliant Dropbox account. WV PEERS members verify reviews incessantly and attempt to make contact with the person inside 24 to 72 hours of the incident.

The major purpose is to get the individual into remedy. However, whether or not or not the person is able to decide to restoration, PRCs also can assist with connections to well being and social providers in addition to naloxone.

Volunteers will take a “train the trainer” course to learn to administer naloxone, Dower stated. Individuals can enroll on the Monongalia County QRT Facebook web page by clicking a hyperlink offered in Save a Life Day posts.

Between members of WV PEERS and Klass, 2,200 naloxone trainings have been held in Monongalia County because the QRT’s inception, with 6,000 doses of naloxone distributed.

“The training is fast, easy and, more importantly, it will give participants the knowledge, skills and confidence to save a life,” Klass stated. “In medicine, it’s rare to have a drug that is easy to administer, highly effective and that works quickly. Naloxone is all three of these things, and it’s important that we promote its use and give access to this life-saving drug in all populations.”

Also, directions on the field present a fast refresher course, as does the Monongalia County QRT’s naloxone video, which might be simply accessed by typing in “Monongalia County Health Department” and “naloxone” at YouTube.com.

For up-to-date info on well being and wellness in Monongalia County, take a look at monchd.org and comply with the well being division on Facebook and Twitter @WVMCHD and on Instagram at #wvmchd.

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