The opioid crisis continues to wreak havoc on communities nationwide. Overdose deaths related to opioids have reached alarming levels, with the National Center for Health Statistics reporting more than 1,500 people overdosing per week, making opioids the leading cause of fatal overdoses in the U.S.
An increased number of overdoses impacts individuals on more than just a physical level but also increases emotional health challenges, strained relationships, increased risk of overdose and mortality, economic burdens, and social discrimination. This multifaceted impact highlights the urgent need for comprehensive support, treatment options, and de-stigmatization efforts to help individuals affected by the crisis on their path to recovery.
The Path to a Solution
In the face of this public health emergency, NARCAN training has emerged as a crucial tool in saving lives and combating the opioid crisis.
NARCAN, also known as naloxone, is a lifesaving nasal spray medication that is designed to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. In critical situations where time is of the essence, the immediate effect of NARCAN makes it a powerful tool to provide to individuals who are witnessing an opioid overdose. Having the accessibility and experience to use NARCAN can transform a bystander into a literal lifesaver.
Why is NARCAN Training Important?
Now more than ever, individuals are encouraged to prepare themselves with the training and confidence they need to respond quickly in an overdose situation. NARCAN workshops equip individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to respond effectively in an opioid overdose emergency.
NARCAN training empowers communities to take a proactive role in addressing the opioid crisis. By providing the necessary education and tools to administer NARCAN, individuals can go beyond being a bystander, and become a lifesaver. This increased awareness and preparedness can help break the cycle of opioid overdoses and foster a safer environment overall.
In addition to equipping community members with the necessary training and confidence to respond, NARCAN workshops also play a vital role in reducing the stigma associated with opioid addiction. By emphasizing the importance of harm reduction and overdose response, individuals are encouraged to view addiction as a treatable medical condition rather than a moral failing. This, in turn, helps to promote a more compassionate approach to addressing the underlying issues of addiction and encourages individuals to seek treatment.
A common misconception is that NARCAN training is only available to those in healthcare when everyone can (and should) explore available NARCAN training. Availability is not limited to medical professionals. An increasing number of NARCAN workshops are being made available across the country to the general public.
Communities are coming together to address this crisis as one collaborative super-unit. Healthcare professionals, law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and public health departments are partnering to create accessible training in their communities. These partnerships are essential in implementing comprehensive strategies to combat the opioid crisis, including prevention, education, and access to treatment.
In March 2023, NARCAN’s over-the-counter use was an important step in combating opioid overdose. With NARCAN now more readily available, more people can obtain this life-saving medication and potentially save lives with proper training and education. This development has tremendous implications for increasing accessibility and empowering individuals to take swift action when faced with an opioid overdose emergency.
While significant strides are being made, communities must step up to support these efforts. Institutions like Herzing University are partnering with local and regional health organizations across the country to host accessible and informative workshops. In the first half of 2023, Herzing has hosted multiple NARCAN training events in Wisconsin, Louisiana and Minnesota, with more planned in the latter half of the year across the University’s 11 ground campuses.
Your decision to attend a NARCAN training could be the difference between life and death. Be a future hero of your community by participating in a valuable NARCAN training today.