CLINTON COUNTY — Health professionals want community members to be ready in case they find themselves needing to help in an opioid overdose.
Barbara Adams Marin, a prevention supervisor from Solutions CCRC in Wilmington, along with Devin Birt, RN, BSN, a nurse with Clinton County Health Department, held three naloxone (Narcan) recently held three training sessions in Wilmington, Sabina and Blanchester.
Each class showed attendees how naloxone works in reviving an overdosing victim — blocking the effects of opioids and reversingan overdose. Each class participant also received a free take-home naloxone kit provided by Project DAWN (Death Avoided With Naloxone).
The instructors also told attendees the signs of an overdose and what could lead to an overdose. They highlighted that a lot of times it happens after a user is released from prison and takes a large dosage they took before their drug-free jail stay.
Marin told the News Journal the classes came about when Solutions — along with Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren and Clinton Counties and the HELP Clinton County coalition — participated in a project to address the opioid problem in Clinton County under the statewide Collective Community Impact Model for Change learning community which is funded by the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services.
“This is another example of federal dollars from the 21st Century Cures Act given to Ohio reaching local communities most affected by the opioid problem,” said Marin.
According to the Food and Drug Administration FDA’s website, “The 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act), signed into law on December 13, 2016, is designed to help accelerate medical product development and bring new innovations and advances to patients who need them faster and more efficiently.”
Marin hopes the classes will avert opioid deaths by educating community members on overdose signs and lessen community trauma from opioid addiction.
“Overdose deaths touch hundreds of others. Every death is someone’s child, partner, parent, sibling, friend, or co-worker,” she said. “The human and financial costs to individuals, families, and the community as a whole are huge. By providing an opportunity to practice with trainers, we hope participants will feel confident about taking steps to help save a life. Information about treatment resources is also provided because as long as someone is alive, there is hope. We know that with treatment and support, recovery is possible,.”
She added she was pleased to the number of people that attended the classes — around 50 total over the three classes.
“So many people are impacted by this problem and want to be able to do something to make a difference, but often lack information and resources,” she said. “Through this project, local access to naloxone has increased, and community members have a better understanding of this life-saving drug and how to use it. It was gratifying to see how many people are willing to step in to help others.”