This article originally appeared on nbc12.com
The Richmond-Henrico Health District has issued a spike alert after a recent uptick in overdoses. They want to make sure people know what to do if they think someone has overdosed. The health district issues these spike alerts to try to get communities involved in the effort to reduce overdoses. Part of that effort is knowing how to help people who have overdosed and also being aware of who to call if you see something alarming.
The Richmond Ambulance Authority said they rely on the opioid alert system to help give them a better idea of how to respond to overdose calls.
”This helps us better track and be more alert and let our providers know that there is an increase in overdoses and just to be alert for those situations and be more prepared for them,” said Chad Greedan who works as the Director of Field Operations for Richmond Ambulance Authority.
RAA also relies on community members to report overdoses. Part of that is knowing which people are most vulnerable, like people who are using alone, have previously overdosed, or who are using drugs after not using them for awhile.
”Anybody extremely young or extremely old is at higher risk for any type of overdose on medication,” Greedan explained.
Warning signs of an overdose can be easy to spot if you know what to look for. Grey or blue fingertips and snoring or gurgling are all signs of danger.
”When you approach them and you’re not able to arouse them either by speaking to them talking or shaking them that’s the most dangerous sign,” stated Greedan.
If you have it, you can administer naloxone to reverse the effects of an overdose or you can call 911.
”The firefighters and paramedics are the one that can administer Narcan and there’s other ways like IV which will take effect quicker,” Greedan said.
Several different area organizations offer free naloxone and training on how to use it. RHHD has virtual sessions on Zoom on the first Tuesday of the month at 7pm and the last Thursday of the month at the same time.
You can also get free naloxone and training from the Chesterfield Community Services Board and Henrico Mental Health & Developmental Services.