Laguna Offers Narcan Training for Overdose Awareness
August 31st is National Overdose Awareness Day, and with rising numbers of opioid overdose deaths across the nation, there’s no better time than now to learn how to respond in case of an overdose emergency.
Laguna Treatment Hospital is offering free virtual training on how to help someone experiencing an opioid overdose using Narcan (a nasal spray form of the opioid overdose reversal drug, naloxone). The training will take place on August 30th at 4pm on our Facebook page.
When Should Naloxone Be Used?
You can use naloxone (Narcan) any time you suspect someone may be overdosing from opioids. An opioid overdose can be fatal, so it’s important to recognize the signs and respond quickly.
Naloxone will have no effect on someone who has not taken opioids. If you see someone experiencing what appear to be the signs of an opioid overdose but you’re not certain they’ve taken opioids, you can still administer Narcan without fear of harming them.
Opioid Overdoses in California
Opioid overdose has become an immense problem nationwide, and CA is struggling along with the rest of the country. In just one year (2020), more than 16,500 people died from an opioid overdose in the state. Fentanyl continues to be a major contributor to CA’s overdose numbers, causing almost 4,000 of the state’s overdose deaths in 2020.
In just 4 years, between 2017 and 2021, the rate of preventable overdoses in California doubled, and now, in 2022, fatal drug overdoses are in the top ten causes of death in the state.
And it’s not just heroin causing these overdoses. Prescription drugs such as OxyContin, when misused, can cause a fatal overdose. These drugs continue, however, to be prescribed in large numbers: almost 15 million prescriptions for opioids were written in the state in 2020 alone.
If you use prescription or illicit opioids, or you know someone who does, having Narcan on hand—and knowing how to use it—can save your life or the life of someone you love.
Access to Narcan Growing in CA
Naloxone is becoming more widely available to laypersons. Already, Californians can purchase Narcan over the counter at Walgreens pharmacies and request the medication through various harm reduction organizations such as the Solace Foundation.
Narcan vending machines are also becoming increasingly popular, with about a dozen set to be installed in San Diego County beginning at the end of 2022.
Narcan is easy enough to use that, with some training, anyone can feel comfortable administering it. Laguna staff will help you feel confident responding appropriately to an overdose situation through our upcoming virtual training event.