INDIANAPOLIS — The public was trained at no cost on Thursday to learn how to administer the overdose reversal drug, Naloxone.
Throughout the month of September, which is also National Recovery Month, the governor's office and the Indiana State Department of Health are holding these types of training across the state.
Last year, Indiana saw a 33% increase in overdose deaths. Officials say lifesaving tools like Naloxone, are more important than ever.
“For me in this situation, this is a case of hope for the best and plan for the worst,” said Carlos Burge, who attended the training. “I really wanted to learn this, because, for me, I personally have witnessed an overdose actually. And unfortunately at the time, I didn’t know what to do in that situation. I felt completely helpless. So I definitely wanted to at least know something to do.”
After getting to practice administering the drug on a CPR training dummy, Burge said he now feels more confident he’ll know what to do and how to act if someone is experiencing an overdose. Something Breea Vest had to do just days ago.
“Just recently this past week, I had to actually use it for the first time,” Vest said.
Vest said she took a Naloxone training course a few years ago and has carried it with her ever since. After having to use it for the first time last week, she wanted a refresher course.
“It was definitely really scary,” Vest said. “I knew I had had the training and I have a medical background, but I was just on my way home from dinner and it was not something I was expecting I’d have to do.”
“Just last month, Marion County reported a record in Naloxone administration,” said Douglas Huntsinger, Executive Director of Indiana Drug Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement. “And that is just EMS’s Naloxone administration. So, it’s so important that bystanders are able to access this medication and are trained to use this, as well.”
Huntsinger said that with the impact COVID-19 has had on the recovery community, plus the rise of fentanyl in illicit drugs, the crisis has become even more deadly. It makes knowing how to save someone’s life that much more critical.
“It’s a lifesaving device and if people aren’t alive, they can’t recover,” Vest added.
Each participant receives a certificate and a dose of Naloxone upon completion of the training.
- If you or someone you know is dealing with a substance use-related emergency, call 911.
- For more information on a recovery organization near you, you can visit the Indiana Recovery Network website or call 211 for help 24/7 in Indiana.
- You can also call the Indiana Addiction Hotline at 1-800-622-HELP (4357).
- To find where you can get Naloxone near you, click here & to learn more about NaloxBoxes, click here.
- To view more resources from NextLevel Recovery Indiana, click here to visit its website.