BENTON HARBOR, Mi. (WNDU) – August is national overdose awareness month and with the opioid crisis being a big problem around the country, it’s always good to know how to handle an overdose situation if you ever come across it.
Officials with the Berrien County Health department want us all to know what to look for and how to help in those situations. The department hosted a drive-thru Narcan training at their office in Benton Harbor. Two certified trainers taught people about the signs of an overdose and how to administer Narcan in a life-threatening situation.
And the best part of it all? You can learn all of this in just 15 minutes from the seat of your car.
“It’s very brief,” said Lisa Peeples-Hurst, Public Health Promotion and Prevention Supervisor, and certified Narcan trainer. “They will pull in and we will give them information about how to recognize an overdose, the signs of overdose. And then we will go through the process of a scare me technique. In which we show them how to administer that Narcan in a situation where a person might be unresponsive.”
Peeples-Hurst is educating the public on what to do during an overdose situation, situations that seem more prevalent each day in the Berrien County area.
“We had 34 opioid overdose deaths in 2021,” said Peeples-Hurst.
“We anticipate that our newer data will be double that. So, it is imperative that we bring this message and this method to people so they can engage and make a difference in the lives of others”.
And with the recent news of an over-the-counter Narcan hitting shelves next week. Saving a life has never been easier.
“Absolutely support that, we already talked about the overdose deaths and how that’s going up.” said Peeples-Hurst.
“So the more that we can get the kits out to the public and the people the better. We don’t want to hinder the process with something that’s long and drawn out. we want to put kits in hands so that were saving lives”.
Learning these signs and methods is more important now than ever. Even medical professionals are taking time out of their day to know the correct steps.
“Being a nurse I feel like it’s my duty to help people,” said Janet Tufnell, an attendee of the training. “And if I’m well prepared and equipped with something to help them that I’ll be able to do that if something arises when I’m around”.
After passing the course, attendees were given a free Narcan kit, to put their training to the test if needed.
The Berrien County Health Department will hold one more day of sessions tomorrow, in honor of National Overdose Awareness Day.
Individuals must be 18 or older to participate.
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