Health officials stress Narcan training for everyone, hope to save lives after overdose

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Health officials at the national and local level say more people should learn how to use the lifesaving medicine Naloxone, and more should be available.

Still, there are many resources available for those who’d like to learn how to save a life.

Addiction recovery industry leader in Minnesota, Steve Rummler HOPE Network (SRHN), said they’ve been able to share more than 21,000 overdose response kits throughout the state — a feat it says is needed more than ever.

“We’re seeing the most overdoses that have ever happened,” Maddy Reagan, overdose prevention manager with SRHN, said.

Reagan said those overdose response kits include three doses of naloxone and are available for anyone, following proper training.

When asked if she feels Naloxone — also known as Narcan — training should be treated like CPR training, Reagan said “absolutely.”

“We truly do believe that all members of the community should both be trained on how to administer Naloxone, and also be carrying Naloxone,” Reagan added.

Overdose Response Naloxone Kit (Photo Courtesy: SRHN)

At their more than 100 partner sites through their Naloxone Access Point (NAP) Program, people can pick up a kit for free.

Those same feelings are shared by one of the nation’s top doctors — the director of The White House’s National Drug Control Policy, Dr. Rahul Gupta.

“We want to make sure we are saving as many lives as possible,” Dr. Gupta told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS at a St. Paul conference focused on drug recovery in early October.

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“We have an American dying every five minutes, around the clock, and we know that 3/4 of those are dying because of opioids like fentanyl,” Dr. Gupta said, adding: “The fact that that is happening means that enough [Naloxone] is not getting into the community. If we had enough Naloxone available, we could save tens of thousands of lives, right now – that’s been a big important priory for the President and for me.”

Operating on grants and donations, you can help SRHN’s mission here.