The City of Indianapolis is partnering with the Marion County Public Health Department to kick off a series of Narcan training classes for community providers.
Narcan is the drug that can reverse an opioid drug overdose. The training sessions are for lay responders or people who have direct contact with people who at high risk of overdose.
So far in 2017, Narcan has been used 316 times by first responders to reverse overdoses. Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department says the next step is training the public to administer Narcan.
“Partnering with a lot of community-based organizations like Horizon House, IMPD district offices, community centers, neighborhood associations and residents to try to distribute these rescue kits,” Caine says.
Byron Reynolds, program manager with the health department's Substance Use Outreach Service program, is helping lead the training.
“We take the Narcan, and take the purple top off that. We screw this in here. We take the nasal atomizer and screw it in on the top, and now that is ready for use,” Reynolds says.
The trainings not only include instruction on how to administer the drug, but also on how to recognize an overdose - pupils the size of a pinpoint, unconsciousness or extreme sleepiness and shortness of breath. People interested in training can call the health department.
Eighty-five people from homeless outreach organizations were taking today’s training. Seventeen other sessions have already taken place for community outreach groups.