Look­ing for Nar­can train­ing

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By DENAE SPIERING dspier­ing@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Dspier­ing617.

Dur­ing Novem­ber and De­cem­ber, Tal­bot’s Got Heart, a pro­gram launched by the Tal­bot County Health De­part­ment’s pre­ven­tion de­part­ment, will host free com­mu­nity Nar­can/ nalox­one train­ing.

EASTON — Dur­ing Novem­ber and De­cem­ber, Tal­bot’s Got Heart, a pro­gram launched by the Tal­bot County Health De­part­ment’s pre­ven­tion de­part­ment, will host free com­mu­nity Nar­can/nalox­one train­ing through­out Tal­bot County.

“Mary­land is on pace for more than 2,000 opi­oid over­dose deaths this year. We’re do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to slow down those num­bers,” said Alexan­dra Duff, pre­ven­tion spe­cial­ist with the health de­part­ment.

“Any­one who is pre­scribed painkillers or who has a friend or fam­ily mem­ber abus­ing heroin or painkillers should carry Nar­can — just in case,” Duff said. “A sim­ple 30-minute train­ing can save a life.”

Tal­bot’s Got Heart, launched Oct. 1 in part­ner­ship with Mariah’s Mis­sion Fund of the Mid-Shore Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion and Tal­bot County Cham­ber of Com­merce, fo­cuses the im­por­tance of be­com­ing Nar­can trained.

The events of­fer train­ing and an over­view of how to rec­og­nize an over­dose and how to prop­erly re­spond, along with free doses of nalox­one, which re­verses the ef­fects of an opi­oid over­dose.

“Nar­can isn’t treat­ment. It is a tool in the tool­box that we need to save lives and help turn the tide on this epi­demic, which is killing more peo­ple than we’ve ever seen be­fore,” Duff said. “From a pub­lic health stand­point, this is a cri­sis, and Nar­can can help stop peo­ple from dy­ing.”

Ev­ery­one who at­tends a train­ing and gets cer­ti­fied will re­ceive a box with two doses of nalox­one plus a kit that in­cludes gloves, a mouth bar­rier and in­for­ma­tional guides and re­sources.

There are 700 free doses of Nar­can avail­able for trained mem­bers of the com­mu­nity thanks to a state grant that pro­vided fund­ing for 266 boxes of Nar­can to add to the ex­ist­ing sup­ply.

“This grant and cam­paign en­ables us to get 700 doses of this life­sav­ing medicine across our county,” Duff said.

The up­com­ing events are set for 6 p.m. Mon­day, Nov. 27, at the Ox­ford Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment; Wed­nes­day, Nov. 29, at the Til­gh­man Is­land Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany; and Thurs­day, Dec. 14, at the St. Michaels branch of the Tal­bot County Free Li­brary.

Each event will in­clude a screen­ing of the film “Writ­ten Off,” a doc­u­men­tary that de­tails the life of Matt Ed­wards, who lost his bat­tle with heroin de­pen­dency.

“Writ­ten Off” is in­tended to help change the con­ver­sa­tion about drug de­pen­dency, as told through Ed­wards’ per­sonal jour­nals.

The film is not yet rated, and does de­pict drug use and con­tains foul lan­guage; how­ever, there are no age re­stric­tions on at­ten­dance.

The film runs 117 min­utes, with train­ing im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing. Each house­hold trained will get a free over­dose re­sponse kit.

Since June, Duff and her team have trained more than 500 peo­ple, 75 of whom were in the first month of the cam­paign.

“Nar­can isn’t just for peo­ple who have a drug use dis­or­der,” said Duff. “We’re see­ing se­nior cit­i­zens over­dose af­ter ac­ci­den­tally tak­ing more painkillers than they in­tended. We’re also hear­ing about Nar­can sav­ing pets that ac­ci­den­tally in­gest med­i­ca­tions.”

Any­one can get trained and carry the med­i­ca­tion, which is avail­able in Mary­land with­out a pre­scrip­tion but must be ob­tained from a phar­ma­cist be­hind the counter.

Train­ing cer­tifi­cates are good for two years, and re­newal cer­tifi­cates re­quire a re­fresher course.

In ad­di­tion to the Tal­bot’s Got Heart free com­mu­nity train­ing, a “Lunch and Learn” train­ing is sched­uled for Thurs­day, Nov. 30, at the Cham­ber of Com­merce.

The goal of con­duct­ing busi­ness train­ing on lunch hours at the Cham­ber is to have at least one per­son from each lo­cal busi­ness trained.

In ad­di­tion to the train­ing and film screen­ing, there will be ta­bles set up with in­for­ma­tion about sub­stance abuse, pre­ven­tion and where to go for help.

Tal­bot’s Got Heart train­ing ses­sions are free, but reg­is­tra­tion is re­quested and avail­able at www.Tal bot­sGotHeart.org.

More in­for­ma­tion about the film is avail­able at www.writ­ten-off.com.

Reg­is­tra­tion for the Cham­ber of Com­merce train­ing is avail­able on­line at www.tal­botcham­ber.org or by calling 410-822-4653.

“A sim­ple 30-minute train­ing can save a life.” Alexan­dra Duff, Pre­ven­tion Spe­cial­ist, Tal­bot County Health De­part­ment

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