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Pushing back on opiates: Niagara County, state substance abuse office to offer free Narcan training

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Mon, Feb 12th 2018 04:00 pm
By Christian W. Peck
Public Information Officer
Even as Niagara County lawmakers begin the process of declaring opioids a "public nuisance" on Monday night, they also will be rolling out an aggressive push to train the public in use of Narcan, the powerful anti-overdose drug that is credited with saving the lives of victims of opiate overdoses.
County anti-drug organizers will announce the training schedule at 5 p.m. at the Niagara County Courthouse.
The training in the administration of Narcan - a well-know band name of Naloxone, which blocks the effects of opioids - will be held at sites around the county for three days from Feb. 27 to March 1. It is being offered jointly by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and Niagara County's Opioid Addiction/Overdose Strategy Implementation Standing Committee (OASIS).
The chairwoman of that committee, Legislator Rebecca Wydysh, R-Lewiston, said making the tools to counteract drug overdoses available to the public was the next logical step in a progression that began with standardizing training among first responders more than a year ago.
"Narcan has been demonstrated to save lives, and we want to put it in the hands of people who might come into contact with an overdose case," Wydysh said. "But that requires training, and we're making sure that people making this decision have the right tools and the right knowledge."
Participants will receive a free Naloxone rescue kit after completing the training.
The county's OASIS task force, charged with overseeing the response to drug issues, and the opiate crisis in particular, is shifting its focus to pushing back on opiates by initiating steps necessary to the county's planned lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturers whose products are blamed in opiate deaths - and to expanded education on products like Narcan.
Last fall, the county also began airing radio ads for the county's crisis intervention telephone line.
"We understand that to combat opioids in our communities, we need to actually be engaged in the fight," Wydysh said.
Wydysh and County Mental Health Director Laura Kelemen will announce the following Narcan training sessions. Each session has a separate website where individuals interested in participating are encouraged to register. Interested individuals may also register by telephone. Check-in begins 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the session.
•Feb. 27, noon to 1 p.m.: Lumber City Church, 383 Vandervoort St., North Tonawanda (https://NarcanLLC.eventbrite.com or contact Lisa Peterangelo at 716-282-1228)
•Feb. 27, 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Niagara Falls High School Performing Arts Center, 4455 Porter Road, Niagara Falls (https://NarcanNFHS1.eventbrite.com or contact Patty Felton at 716-286-4253)
•Feb. 27, 6:30-7:30 p.m.: Niagara Falls High School Performing Arts Center, 4455 Porter Road, Niagara Falls. https://NarcanNFHS2.eventbrite.com or by contacting Felton.
•Feb. 28, 9-10 a.m.: Niagara Street Elementary School, 2513 Niagara St., Niagara Falls (https://NarcanNSE.eventbrite.com or contact Felton)
•Feb. 28, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Mount St. Mary's Hospital, 5300 Military Road, Lewiston. (https://NarcanMSM.eventbrite.com or contact the Niagara County Department of Mental Health at 716-439-7410)
•Feb. 28, 2:30-3:30 p.m.: John A. Duke Senior Center, 1201 Hyde Park Blvd., Niagara Falls (https://NarcanJDSC.eventbrite.com or contact Patrick Bradley at 716-278-4569)
•Feb. 28, 5-6 p.m.: Potter's House Christian Community Church, 723 7th St., Niagara Falls (https://NarcanPHC.eventbrite.com or contact Falonia LaMar at 716-438-6327)
•March 1, noon to 1 p.m.: Hartland Bible Church, 8110 West Ave., Gasport (https://NarcanHBC.eventbrite.com or contact the Niagara County Department of Mental Health)
•March 1, 3-4 p.m.: Lockport Alliance Church, 555 Davison Road, Lockport (https://NarcanLAC.eventbrite.com or contact the Niagara County Department of Mental Health)

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