The Stateline continues to fight addiction in its communities. Overdose rates are on the rise. Rock Valley College is hoping to prevent some of those overdoses through education. A student organization partnered with a local advocacy group to give the community Narcan training.
“Narcan is only a way to save a life. A person can’t go into recovery if they’re dead.” Hope Over Addiction Executive Director Tammy Wardemann talks about Narcan, the overdose reversal drug used by first responders nationwide. The antidote revives someone who may otherwise die from an opioid overdose. A Nursing Honors Society paired with Hope Over Addiction to teach students about how to use narcan and how to treat addiction.
Mary Ann Taylor, Nursing Honors Society at Rock Valley College
“It’s the need.,” said Alpha Detla Nu Nurse Honors Society Member MaryAnn Taylor. “:It’s something that is looked at incorrectly, it’s stigmatized. It’s a big problem in the area and the whole country.”
“It’s so common now-a-days,” said Rock Valley College Student Mary Hackman. “So obviously we need to be prepared for it.” Three classrooms filled up with students and faculty taking the training class. Wardemann says with partnerships throughout the community, like at Rock Valley College, helps battle the opioid crisis head on. “That helps us get the message out, get the Narcan into people’s hands,” said Wardemenn. “Our goal is to get it into everybody’s hand that we can.”
Narcan became available in 2014. However, 412 lives have been lost to overdose in Winnebago County since then. “In Winnebago County its particularly hit hard,” said Wardemann. “From 2016 to 2017, the number of overdose deaths increased 30%. That’s significant 96 to 124.”
Organizers hope the 126 students who walked out the door with Narcan, will be part of the movement to stop addiction.
“With how prevalent heroine is now a days or just getting drugs from the doctor everybody of any age needs to be aware of it and have that Narcan with them to save a life,” said Hackman.