In 2015 the number of deaths caused by opioid overdoses was estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be over 33,000. Thousands more deaths were prevented by the administration — often by first responders — of a safe and effective drug called naloxone. Widely known under the brand name Narcon, naloxone temporarily blocks the effects of opioids — including heroin and prescription pain medications — allowing an individual to regain consciousness and resume normal breathing.
Later this month the Southold Fire Department and the North Fork Volunteer Rescue Squad Association are co-sponsoring an opioid overdose prevention training class which will enable laypeople to recognize opioid overdose and administer intranasal naloxone.
The two-hour class, which meets New York State Department of Health requirements, will train participants to take immediate action in the event of an overdose crisis. Each trainee will receive a resuscitation kit that includes the nasally administered naloxone and a certificate of completion.
Ed Boyd, president of the North Fork Volunteer Rescue Squad Association and an EMT for the Southold Fire Department, stressed the importance of having laypeople know how to handle an overdose victim.
“We’re encouraging all residents, anyone who is interested in being a part of the community and in being in a position to be of service, to take the training,” said Boyd.
Parents and grandparents of children of a certain age should all be trained, even if there is no indication of anything drug-related happening in the youngster’s lives, he said.
“Things like this can come up very suddenly,” he added.
The two-hour class will be held at the Southold Fire Department on Dec. 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. Pre-registration is required and interested parties mush register by Dec. 22. by calling 631 765-3385 or emailing [email protected]
Trainees must be 16 or older, but teens age 14 older may attend with a parent to learn about the dangers of drug use. Click here to view a video about Suffolk County’s opioid overdose prevention program.