MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink) - There are now over 30 new naloxone distributors in the Muncie community. Wednesday night, the Indiana Recovery Alliance (IRA) was at Bridges Community Service offering a free training on the opioid overdose drug naloxone.
Naloxone, which is the generic name for Narcan, is an overdose reversal drug that only works against opioids like heroin. It reverses the life-threatening effects of opioid overdose that cause the lungs to stop working and the drug user to stop breathing.
The opioid issue is a growing issue within the United States. Jessica Cochran, the IRA’s Northern Indiana Overdose Prevention and Harm Reduction Coordinator, says that in 2018, over 70,000 people experienced a fatal overdose.
"So, if you break that down, really it’s the equivalent of a 747 [airplane] crashing and everybody on board dying every single day,” Cochran said.
As of 2017, drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in America.
The purpose of Wednesday’s training was to educate attendees about harm reduction, opioid overdose and naloxone administration. There were almost 40 people in attendance and one that was particularly affected by the opioid issue is Adran Foley. Foley had a friend who he revived after the starting signs of an overdose without having access to naloxone.
“He kinda started falling out and his breathing went shallow and his lips turned blue and I had to give him sternal rubs and keep talking to him and talking to him until he finally was breathing non-shallow enough on his own that I felt comfortable to sit with him and he was talking to me,” Foley said.
One of the things that Cochran said within the training was that the stigma around opioid use is one of the biggest factors in overdoses because it makes people not want to talk about their using. Foley and the IRA both hope this will change.
“Really, I hope the stigma really changes around drug use in general for people because that’s the only way they’re gonna get the help they need, if they want the help, or if they don’t want the help and they wanna use drugs... you know harm reduction is a big thing,” Foley said.
Foley and the other participants from the training are now naloxone distributors under the IRA, and the IRA is planning to hold more trainings like this soon. Anyone interested in future naloxone training or other harm reduction techniques can visit indianarecoveryalliance.org for general info or go to the local harm reduction center, Bridges Community Services, located at 318 W Eighth St in Muncie.