Free class on reversing overdoses set for Nov. 9
Overdose Lifeline, a local nonprofit aimed at combating opioid and heroin addiction, is hosting a free training on how to use Naloxone, a drug often sold under the brand name Narcan that can help reverse the affects of an opioid overdose. The training, scheduled for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Hamilton County Health Department in Noblesville, isn’t just for police or firefighters, but everybody and anybody who might think they could encounter an overdose.
“It’s for anybody who believes they ever would come in contact with someone suffering from an overdose, and that can be a broad audience, because people are overdosing in bathrooms and cars,” said Justin Phillips, founder of the organization.
She said the training is free because her organization received funding from the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, but donations are gladly accepted.
Attendees will receive hands-on training on how to administer Narcan to someone who is experiencing an overdose and will get a free kit to take with them. She said parents who have children with drug addictions have been asking for these classes, along with social workers and people who work at facilities that often deal with those struggling with addiction.
Narcan can be administered in an injection or nasal spray and lasts about a half hour to an hour. Sometimes multiple doses might be required, and there’s no harm if it’s administered to someone who isn’t actually having an overdose, Phillips said.
Phillips started Overdose Lifeline after her son, Aaron Kent Sims, died at age 20 from a heroin overdose. State Sen. Jim Merritt worked with Phillips to write “Aaron’s Law,” which was signed in April 2015 and allows Indiana residents to obtain a prescription for Narcan if they believe someone they know is at risk of an opioid overdose. Prior to this law, only emergency workers were allowed to carry the drug.