RAA Joins Partners for Lifesaving Training on International Overdose Awareness Day

This article originally appeared on nbc12.com

Along West Grace Street on Thursday morning, Daily Planet Health Services set up a table to teach people how they can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

“You want to come and try to wake them up,” said Sharon Gatewood while explaining what you should do if you find someone unresponsive.

In addition to calling 911, Gatewood talked about the steps you can take to administer Naloxone.

“You want to administer one dose in either nostril,” said Gatewood during her demonstration. “It’s an extremely safe, very benign drug, and we encourage that you use it, regardless of knowing if it is an opioid overdose, because it could save a life. If it’s not opioids, if it’s something else, it’s not going to harm them.”

This lesson happened during an event spotlighting International Overdose Awareness Day.

Throughout the morning, dozens stopped by to learn how to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and how to administer hands-only CPR with help from the American Heart Association and Richmond Ambulance Authority.

“Whether it’s an overdose and Narcan, or Naloxone, is what’s required to revive them, and if that doesn’t work, we want someone to step in and perform CPR,” said Robin Gahan, vice president of community impact for the American Heart Association.

A report from the Virginia Department of Health reports fatal drug overdoses have been the leading method of unnatural death in Virginia since 2013. Opioids, specifically illicit fentanyl, have been a driving force behind the significant increases.

“We’re having thousands of people every year in Virginia overdosing and potentially dying,” said Gatewood, an associate professor from VCU’s School of Pharmacy. “The person that has overdosed cannot use the medicine, the Naloxone, on themselves. They need someone that has the medicine, that’s been trained.”

Through these lessons, Gatewood hopes to turn bystanders into lifesavers.

“Getting it out there, creating that access and getting this in the hands of patients is important to hopefully reduce these deaths from overdose,” she told NBC12.

Narcan is expected to hit store shelves next week. Daily Planet Health Services can also train their patients to use Naloxone and distribute the medicine.

2023-09-05T17:11:08-04:00August 31st, 2023|
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