When a loved one suffers from a opiod overdose, every second counts, which is why a Stateline group is making sure that when it matters most, people will know what to do.
“Currently, as an average, were seeing about 1.5 overdoses per day,” says Lieutenant Bob Vertiz, the EMS Coordinator for the Rockford Fire Department.
When first responders go out on a call and someone is suffering from a drug overdose, they use Narcan in the hopes of saving their life.
“I’d say we’re definitely in the hundreds, of how many times it’s been administered, so far this year,” said Vertiz. “We could easily see administrations of 600-700 times [that] this year, at the end.”
Narcan is now available over the counter, as a nasal spray.
And it’s easy to use.
“Half the dose would be administered in one nares, and we’ll go to the second nares and administer the second half of the dose,” said Vertiz as he demonstrated it’s use.
A local group, Hope Over Addiction, offers free classes to those who want to learn how to use Narcan.
“I think it’ll be a way for families, friends, and other ones to feel less helpless,” said Hanne Reiger.
Reiger is the lead Narcan trainer for Hope Over Addiction.
She teaches people how to recognize an overdose, and help reverse the effects of it.
“It’ll give families and friends the chance to help that person,” said Reiger. “They can’t make them quit, they can’t get them treatment, but they can help them this way they can help them by preventing that.”
Reiger says it’s also their best opportunity to seek out treatment.
“We’re hoping that maybe this is the last time they overdose,” said Reiger. “Maybe they will get treatment and for the time this will be their last wake up call.”
Hope Over Addiction will hold training sessions every Tuesday and Thursday evening for the rest of the month.
If you’d like to attend one of those, you can register online here.