PRINCETON, NJ, November 1, 2018  The American Red Cross has launched First Aid for Opioid Overdoses, an online course to teach people how to respond to a known or suspected opioid overdose.

“An opioid overdose is a life-threatening emergency,” said Rosie Taravella, CEO, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “When you suspect an opioid overdose, it’s important to start providing care immediately and knowing what to do can help save someone’s life.”

The 45-minute online course contains content on how to identify the signs and symptoms of a suspected opioid overdose and the appropriate care to provide based on the responsiveness of the person. Information about how to use several different naloxone products – including a nasal atomizer, Narcan® Nasal Spray and EVZIO® – to temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose is also included.

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People can register and access the course at redcross.org/TakeAClass (https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/opioidoverdose). Because an opioid overdose can lead to cardiac arrest, people are also encouraged to take a Red Cross CPR/AED course.

The Red Cross has also prepared guidance on opioid use and overdose response for those working in the organization’s shelters during disasters. Recently, these efforts empowered a Red Cross volunteer to help save the life of a person in a shelter during Hurricane Florence.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About the American Red Cross in New Jersey:
The American Red Cross provides programs and services to a population of 8.8 million in New Jersey. The Red Cross trains and mobilizes more than 4,500 volunteers who support the delivery of services throughout the state. In New Jersey last year, the Red Cross responded to more than 900 local disasters, mostly home fires, helping more than 2,250 displaced families; collected more than 94,500 units of blood through blood drives and Red Cross Blood Donation Centers; provided more than 5,114 military family case services with emergency messages, helping families find assistance and/or get counseling and referrals; and trained nearly 110,250 individuals with life-saving skills in preparedness, CPR, AED use, first aid and aquatics. For more information, please visit redcross.org/NJ and follow us on Twitter @NJRedCross.org.