Lumber City Church will host opioid overdose rescue training from 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at The Hope Center, 383 Vandervoort St., North Tonawanda. The event is sponsored by the Niagara County Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
Every day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that more than 70,200 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids – a two-fold increase in just a decade. The reality of this crisis hits home for many Western New York families. Last year Niagara County alone recorded 438 opioid overdoses, including 44 fatalities.
Among those affected is North Tonawanda resident, Keri Solinski who has lost at least one loved one to this horrible crisis. Of her experience, she said, “Well, I can tell you that I now carry Narcan in my car. I was in the hospital with my daughter when my best friend overdosed, so I wasn’t around to help him. My heart is still broken over that. I believe if the people around him knew the signs and symptoms of overdose and had this training and access to Narcan, he could possibly be alive today.”
Reasons such as Solinski’s story is a reason Lumber City Church has partnered with The NCDMH to get this potential life-saving resource into the hands of people that are on the front lines of this war for life in local neighborhoods. Participants will not only be trained on how to administer a life-saving dose of Naloxone, but they will be able to take a kit to keep with them, should the need arise to save the life of a loved one.
This is not the first time Lumber City Church has hosted this training.
“The first time we hosted this training back in February 2018, I expected to see lots of first responders. What we saw were mothers, fathers and grandparents. We saw families that live with the reality that someone they love could overdose at any minute,” said Pastor Chad Rieselman of Lumber City Church.