Two free sessions offering training and kits of NARCAN, the life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug, will be given in Miami Wednesday, Sept. 26.

MIAMI – Community coalition Partners for Ottawa County, Inc. (POCI) has facilitated free NARCAN training through ROCMND Partnership for Success Wednesday, Sept. 26 in Miami.

NARCAN is the brand name for naloxone, a life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug that can be administered by first responders and individuals in the event of an opioid overdose.

Opioids are a class of drugs that include heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and prescription pain relievers such as codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and many others, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Most commonly administered as a nasal spray or an injection, NARCAN is a simple and effective intervention for overdoses from heroin or prescription opioid medications that most can easily learn to use to potentially save a life.

Opioid overdoses are dangerous in how they affect the body by suppressing the central nervous system and the processes that control breathing. NARCAN works quickly by bonding itself to the same receptors in the brain targeted by opioids to effectively reverse the effects of an opioid-induced overdose.

NARCAN training and kits are valuable because of their ease of use and potential reach. While many may still associate opioid overdoses with illegal drug use, the most current data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health reveals that unintentional poisonings have claimed the lives of more Oklahomans aged 25 to 64 than motor vehicle crashes. Among those, prescription opioids are the most common class of drugs involved in unintentional poisoning deaths in the state.*

OSDH further outlines the benefits of naloxone are that it is non-addictive, low cost and does not cause harm to individuals experiencing a non-opioid overdose.

The Wednesday training in Miami is open and free to community members, first responders, and business and agency representatives at the Ottawa County Courthouse Annex Community Room, 123 E Central Ave.

There will be two training sessions available, a morning session from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and an evening session from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A light dinner will be served at the evening session.

Attendees will also receive a free NARCAN kit at the end of the training. Kits are provided through a partnership with the Delaware County Community Partnership, ROCMND Prevention Programs, Cherokee Nation Programs Restoring Life Network Project, and Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

If you or someone you know or service uses opiates, please plan to attend this free, life-saving event.

For more information on NARCAN Training contact Teresa Carnes, ROCMND Partnership for Success Coordinator with ROCMND Youth Services, Inc. at 918-857-9854.

ROCMND Partnership for Success is funded through the Cherokee Nation Partnership for Success grant.

*https://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/FS-UP_GroupNE1.pdf

Dorothy Ballard is the managing news editor for the Miami News-Record. Email her at dballard@miaminewsrecord.com and follow her on Twitter @dm_ballard.