Training to teach how to save lives from opioid overdose

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The New River Health District joins other sponsoring agencies to offer a training session on how to save the life of a family member or friend who has overdosed on opioids, either accidentally or intentionally.


The free, one-hour session, called REVIVE!, will be held at 10 a.m. April 1 at the Bonnie Hurlburt Student Center at Radford University, at the intersection of Jefferson and Clement Street in Radford.

“Virginia has been severely affected by opioid abuse, particularly the abuse of prescription drugs,” said Noelle Bissell M.D., director of the New River Health District. “In 2011, for the first time ever, drug-related deaths happened at a higher per capita rate than motor vehicle crashes, and southwest Virginia has the highest rates of accidental overdose deaths from opioids in Virginia.”

REVIVE! participants will learn how to use naloxone to treat someone with an opioid overdose, and also how to identify causes and risk factors for opioid overdose, common myths about overdose reversal, and why naloxone is now available in Virginia.

Naloxone is a medication that can be administered as a nasal spray mist to reverse the effects of the opioid, such as restoring breathing in an overdosing patient. If the patient has not overdosed on an opioid, naloxone is not harmful. It poses no danger to anyone who administers it.

Each registered participant also will receive a prescription for naloxone and a free kit with supplies and information on how and where to purchase naloxone.

REVIVE! is a collaboration of the Virginia Departments of Health, Behavioral Health and Developmental Services and Health Professions, with recovery-based community organizations such as the McShin Foundation, OneCare of Southwest Virginia, the Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance of Virginia and other stakeholders.

For more information, contact Robert Parker, public information officer, Western Region, at 580-2960 or visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/commissioner/opioid-addiction-in-virginia.

— Submitted by Robert Parker