Summit County Health Department Trains Police and the Public on How to Use an Overdose-Reversal Drug

Aug 24, 2016

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is being distributed by the Summit County Health Department as part of training for law enforcement and other agencies that deal with people at high risk for overdoses.
Credit CDC

Akron police are being trained this week on how to use the drug Naloxone to revive overdose victims.  And as WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports, other cities – and the public – have been getting the training as well.

The Summit County Health Department has trained more than a dozen law enforcement agencies – for free -- on using the drug also known as Narcan.  The health department’s Dr. Margo Erme says her staff has also trained more than 500 residents on using the drug.

“For families, friends of people who might be at-risk for an opiate overdose -- or for users themselves to be able to use the intranasal Naloxone -- we have done the training to groups that have a high risk of opiate overdoses.

"So, for example, (we're) going to the Summit County Drug Court, (and) high-risk obstetric clinics, because there may be women who are pregnant that might be at high-risk either for themselves or their partners.”

The Summit County Health Department has gotten two rounds of state funding for the Narcan training, and Erme says it will continue to offer training for as long as their current supply of the drug lasts.

Two locations in the county offer the training: the health department on Tuesday afternoons, and Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Hospital on Thursday mornings.

Erme says that with more potent opioids hitting the streets, a single dose of Narcan may not be enough in some cases.  She says that’s why it’s important that the public call EMS immediately when dealing with an overdose victim, even if Narcan has been administered.