NARCAN clinic offers training that saves lives

Published 1:46 pm Monday, November 8, 2021

– Photo submitted by Clark County Health Department.

To learn how to save a life, sometimes all one needs to do is visit Walmart.

The Clark County Health Department, in conjunction with several partners, offered free NARCAN training Friday in the parking lot of the Winchester Walmart.

“NARCAN is used for opioid overdose reversals,” said the health department’s nurse administrator, Jennifer Gulley.

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Ron Kibbey, a retired social worker with New Vista, said that is its only use.

“It is important for people to understand that is the only thing that it does,” he said.

NARCAN is applied through the nose and is a vital tool in fighting the opioid epidemic.

Opioids resulted in overdose deaths of 96,000 Americans over the last year, according to a report released by the CDC in October.

“If a person thinks that someone is in the midst of an overdose from an opioid; heroin, a pain pill or whatever. They can administer the NARCAN, and it will essentially block the opioid form impacting the brain,” said Kibbey.

Gulley and Kibbey agreed that NARCAN must be applied immediately if a person is overdosing.

“It’s like providing CPR to someone that has collapsed,” Gulley said.

Training and having NARCAN readily available have saved lives.

“I had one situation where a woman received a call from her neighbor at 2 a.m. in the morning, and the neighbor’s daughter was passed out on the floor overdosed,” Kibbey said. “She went into the house, administered and saved that girl’s life.”

The Kentucky Pharmacy Association, the Kentucky Department of Public Health and the Clark County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy also sponsored the event.

The department of public health and the pharmacy association provided the training and NARCAN in their mobile unit.

Other community partners like Achieving Recovery Together were on hand to provide additional recovery resources.

Gulley said there would be future clinics and training sessions.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Clark County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy was named the Clark County Agency for Public Health Policy.