Today is International Overdose Awareness Day. The purpose of this day, held each August 31, is to raise awareness of overdoses, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths and acknowledge the grief …
Today is International Overdose Awareness Day. The purpose of this day, held each August 31, is to raise awareness of overdoses, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths and acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends.
Events are being held across America today, including by the First Aid Squad of Mamakating, as well as by the county in a joint event by Sullivan BOCES, Sullivan 180 and the Kingfisher Project.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to garner attention worldwide, many dedicated health officials, as well as local law enforcement, professional and volunteer EMTs, and programs are also battling the opioid epidemic, which has only gotten worse with challenges caused by COVID.
One helpful tool in this fight is training members of the public in the use of Narcan, a medication used to reverse opioid overdoses.
In 2018, there were more than 50,000 overdoses in the United States, and in about one third of those overdoses, someone with public Narcan training was present, helping the individual involved. About 19,000 of those 50,000 overdoses resulted in deaths.
We have all been affected by this epidemic. We’ve lost brothers, sisters, parents, children, friends and loved ones to addiction.
We also feel for those on the frontline who have to constantly respond to overdoses, sometimes seeing the same individual on multiple calls, and feeling like they’re unable to help or feel as if they haven’t made significant strides in the battle.
As we continue to fight this crisis, all hands are needed on deck.
Being trained in Narcan can make a difference and you can save someone’s life.
Organizations like Catholic Charities have held Narcan trainings.
Also, on the first Wednesday of each month, Sullivan County Public Health offers a virtual Narcan training, allowing people to still become trained as an Opioid Overdose Responder even during these challenging times of COVID-19. Pre-registration is required. To sign up, visit https://forms.gle/ 5AitwLX4PpxsdEqG6.
If you have questions, you can contact Sullivan County Public Health Educator, Jill Hubert-Simon, at 845-292-5910 ext. 2243.
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