Opioid overdose prevention workshop set for Dec. 15

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Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 7:04 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The opioid epidemic rages on and health officials say it continues to claim more lives.

For that reason, the Eau Claire City-County Health Department and At The Roots LLC are teaming up in an effort to help save lives.

They are holding their end-of-year opioid overdose prevention workshop where they will teach community members on how to administer Narcan.

“We want community members to have a better understanding of what opioids are, the signs of an overdose and how to respond,” said Sarah Dillivan-Pospisil with the health department.

Dillivan-Pospisil said participants of the workshop will receive a box with two doses of Narcan and will be trained on how to use it in medical emergency situations.

“They would insert this into the individual’s nose, press the plunger and medicine is expressed for that individual. During that time we encourage community members to call 911 so they’re able to respond as well,” said Dillivan-Pospisil.

A lieutenant with the Chippewa Falls Police Department said while the workshop is a great idea, it is important to know what can happen when you revive someone, such as that person getting combative.

Dillivan-Pospisil said sometimes one Narcan spray may not even be enough.

“If nothing happens in that 2 to 3 minutes they take the other device out of the box, insert it in the other nostril and express the other medication again,” said Dillivan-Pospisil.

In a statement, a spokesperson from the Eau Claire Police Department said:

“So there’s no way to know how many calls are opioid related as our record keeping isn’t that specific. Technically any call could be opioid related. A domestic may occur due to a couple’s drug issues but that never comes to light during the investigation. Or a theft could happen because a person wants money for drugs but we have no way of knowing that. So there’s really know way of putting a firm number on it. I was not aware of this program but since time is of the essence in an overdose it certainly could save a person’s life if they are given Narcan sooner rather than later. So it sounds like a promising program!”

According to information from the health department, in 2020 there were 280 drug related hospitalizations and 15 overdose deaths in Eau Claire County.

“Over the last few years we have seen an increase in the number of death and hospital admissions because of opioid use,” said Dillivan-Pospisil.

At The Roots LLC, which is a resource and advocate for mental health and recovery awareness, is partnering with the health department to host the Narcan workshop on December 15th between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Banbury Place.

One of the co-owners of At The Roots said this workshop is for everyone because the reality is, even kids and pets can overdose because of a prescription opioid that may have dropped on the floor.

Dillivan-Pospisil said that Narcan is FDA approved and safe for everyone including children and pregnant women.

And if it turns out the person is not experiencing an overdose, there are no adverse effects to worry about if mistakenly administered.

To register for the workshop, click HERE.