ROSELLE, NJ - The Brough of Roselle is offering free training to anyone interested in learning how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose using naloxone (Narcan) this Thursday, February 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Prevention Links office on 121-125 Chestnut St. in Roselle.

The training is free and the first 30 people to arrive will receive a free Narcan kit. No registration is required to maintain confidentiality for attendees.

This training is one of the most significant interventions necessary for combating deaths due to opioid abuse in Union County. Naloxone can rapidly reverse the effect of an opioid overdose, saving lives. During the training, residents will learn how to recognize an opioid overdose and properly and safely administer this lifesaving drug.

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In 2018, there were 307 overdoses and 116 overdose fatalities in Union County, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office. Overdose education and naloxone distribution programs have been shown to significantly reduce opioid-related overdose deaths (cost effectively) but are underutilized. While paramedics and law enforcement carry naloxone, the transportation time to render the emergency service can cause a potentially fatal delay.

Last year, the Surgeon General issued an advisory on naloxone calling for health care practitioners, family, and friends of people who have an opioid use disorder and community members who come in contact with those at risk carry the antidote.

Naloxone is a non-addictive, safe and effective medication that can quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of an opioid overdose when administered within a certain timeframe. When given intravenously, it starts working within two minutes, injected into a muscle, within five. Narcan is one of the most common brand names naloxone is sold under.

Workshops are also being held in Springfield, Rahway, Scotch Plains, Elizabeth, Roselle, Summit, Union Twp., and Plainfield. 

According to Sean Foley, MSW, LSW, “The Prosecutor’s Office has found that during the winter months, overdoses spike. We are not sure why, but since this has been a recurring pattern, we feel it is extremely necessary to get as many people trained and equipped with Narcan as possible.”

The initiative was developed through Prevention Links’ Union County Substance Use Navigators Sean Keagan Foley, MSW, LSW, and Lisa Federico, LPC, LCADC.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to Sean Foley at sfoley@preventionlinks.org.

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