ASAP to teach about overdose prevention, Narcan

Published 11:05 am Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Clark County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (ASAP) will host their second overdose prevention class at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center, 37 North Highland St.

According to ASAP board coordinator Melissa Stocker, this class will be the second of many the organization is planning to do, with more to be scheduled next year.

The first forum happened in July and drew a crowd of more than 80 people, she said.

“The purpose is to educate people about prevention and how to respond to an overdose,” Stocker said.

Board member Ron Kibbey said the forum will address several topics, including recognizing an overdose and knowing how to respond. The meeting will include training on the use of Narcan, an opioid overdose reversal drug. The Clark County Board of Education recently voted to allow Narcan to be stored on the campuses of George Rogers Clark High School and Phoenix Academy, making it readily available in the event of an overdose on school property.

Kibbey said those who take part in the training will receive two doses of Narcan to take home with them.

“There was a woman who came to our first meeting in July and took part in the training,” Kibbey said. “I later found out that her neighbor came to her one night because someone had overdosed on opiates, and the woman was able to use the Narcan to bring them back.”

However, the use of Narcan is not enough in itself to save someone who has overdosed, and Stocker said it is important to teach people that even with Narcan, a call to emergency medical services is necessary.

For that reason, ASAP also wants to educate people on the “good samaritan law,” which states someone who calls 911 to help someone else who is overdosing will not face criminal charges themselves if they have also been using illegal substances.

The group will also offer information on the county’s needle exchange program, which is operated by the Clark County Health Department and aims to remove contaminated syringes from circulation to prevent the spread of intravenous disease.

Contact Seth Littrell at seth.littrell@winchestersun.com.