MEDINA NY Nov 15 2016— Opioid overdoses are a growing nationwide concern with prescription drug and heroin abuse increasing across all demographic groups. Security and Law Enforcement students at Orleans Career and Technical Education Center, in their chosen career, will likely encounter someone suffering from an opioid overdose.
“This is a growing epidemic in our country,” Steve Browning, security and law enforcement teacher, said. “We felt it was very important to bring in an expert to talk about it and who can show the students the proper way to administer Narcan, which blocks the opioid overdose effects. Law enforcement agencies are using this more and more.”
Andrew Steel, a paramedic with Lake Plains Community Care Network, worked with Browning’s and Gene Newman’s classes to teach students about opioid overdoses and administration of Narcan, also known as naloxone, nasal spray.
“Unfortunately there are a growing number of people who are experimenting with drugs and are drug dependent. Opioid overdoses are occurring in urban, rural and suburban areas on a daily basis. ... We are trying to push out Narcan to the communities because it is turning into a pandemic," Steel said.
"I also want to make the students aware that it is not only people who are using these drugs recreationally who can have an overdose. Sometimes elderly people, who are taking prescribed opioids, will forget that they already took their dose and take more, causing them to overdose. I spend a lot of time talking to first responders on how to identify if someone is overdosing and what to do.”
Steel went over the signs and symptoms of an overdose with the students. “Usually in an overdose you have a small window to respond and there is no time to waste. You have four to six minutes until they die if they are not treated with Narcan,” he said.
He assured the students they don’t need to fear helping someone who is overdosing, thanks to the 911 Good Samaritan Law. The law protects the non-medical person from liability when he or she administers naloxone. With a prescription, people are allowed to carry ten syringes.
“This device will equip community members, families, friends and caregivers with a tool they can use without medical training to save a life,” Steel said.
Union Sun Journal