News

Philly Offers Free Training on Use of Narcan

By Alicia Vitarelli

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Officials call it nothing short of a lifesaver, and Wednesday city officials offered anyone who lives in Philadelphia free training on how to use Narcan.

Narcan is the brand name of the drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Overdoses are skyrocketing and officials want everyone to have the tools and skills to save a life.

The city’s behavioral health department offered education about the epidemic, the drug and access to Narcan. They also gave a hands on demonstration on how to administer Narcan. The goal was simple: combating the crisis one person at a time.

“A lot of people are faced with this crisis in their own households,” said Pamela McClenton of the Department of Behavioral Health. “This is a way for us to destigmatize the opioid substance use disorder and treatment.”

Narcan can be purchased over-the-counter at drug stores in Philadelphia, you do not need a prescription.

Officials said it can reverse a fatal overdose almost immediately, and restore breathing within two to eight minutes.

Kennedy Health in Berlin, Camden County is tackling the opioid epidemic in New Jersey.

Medical experts spent the day discussing the crisis and the efforts to fight it.

U-S Congressman Donald Norcross was the opening speaker and Tony Luke, the cheesesteak franchise founder, shared his emotional story after his son recently died from a heroin overdose.

Fighting the War Against Opioid Addiction with Narcan

PHILADELPHIA, PA (WTXF) – As the country continues to grapple with the opioid epidemic, many view overdose reversal medication as an essential tool to fight back.

Some counselors, like Rick Tull of Philadelphia’s Office of Behavioral Health, believe making these drugs more accessible deserves consideration.

“With all the people who passed, including the three people who passed in Philadelphia last night, I think it’s appropriate to have a moment of silence,” he says.

Wednesday was one in a series of events hosted by the city to get the message out that residents must be prepared to save a life when the moment calls for it. Participants heard Tull present the staggering statistics.

“Every day, 100 people will die from opioid overdoses nationwide, [with] at least three to four in Philadelphia alone,” he said.

But it honestly wasn’t the stats that made the biggest impact, it was the attendees..

Elvis Rosado works in addiction prevention and demonstrated Narcan because he knows firsthand its impact.

“The agency staff has reversed over 200 people. By myself, as of last week, I’m at 37 people,” he told FOX 29’s Bill Anderson.

Onzie Travis is a counselor who shocked attendees with his sincerity when he explained only one person he worked with died from drug use.

“Some people I’ve worked with have overdosed,” he said. “Fortunately, only one of them passed away. The others were revived.”

Health worker Allison Herens administered Narcan following a training session less than 24 hours after purchasing it.

“I purchased Narcan the day before, and when I got to Somerset Station a man on the platform overdosed and I reversed him,” she said.

Whether making Narcan more accessible makes users more likely to continue abusing opioids, the training sessions made a simple point clear. While we debate the merits of these overdose reversal drugs, we should save lives while we do it.