Health officials bring mobile NARCAN distribution to Letcher County

Published: Jul. 26, 2018 at 7:24 PM EDT
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The Letcher County Health Department hosted an Overdose Prevention class on Thursday as a way to educate the community on NARCAN usage.

In the span of just one year, reports show drug overdose-related deaths increased by 11.5 percent.

Officials say 1,565 of those deaths were reported in Kentucky, and the need for NARCAN is growing larger each day.

Police, doctors, and families registered for training and took home kits containing two doses of NARCAN thanks to a mobile distribution site.

Scott Lockard, the Public Health Director for Kentucky River District Health Department, says overdosing impacts all socioeconomic lines, and participants could not agree more.

"It [NARCAN] definitely could change lives," Nicole Lowery said. "There's a lot of overdosing going on especially here in Kentucky."

With drug use statistics constantly increasing, families are worried.

Health officials say NARCAN is good to have on hand when they are not close by.

"Ambulances are sometimes busy [and] can't get to people so it is a pretty quick way to help someone that is overdosing," Courtney Bailey said. "I'm here today because if anyone is overdosing and I'm around, I want to be able to save a life."

NARCAN stops the effects of opioids on the brain and may give a second chance for life.

"With any kind of addiction you don't know what's going to happen the next time that you use," Lowery, who owns a local recovery center, said.

Officials say this tool is just as important as CPR and hopes this tool will reach as many hands in the community as possible.

"A lady went through the training on a Thursday and had to administer what she had received, the doses, that Saturday night. And she saved her daughter's life," Lockard said.

They say ten minutes of training could add years to someone's life.

Doctors say most pharmacies carry NARCAN and encourage everyone to purchase the life-saving tool.

You can also contact your medical provider for a prescription.