Civilians arm themselves with Narcan to battle overdose epidemic

Civilians arm themselves with Narcan...

SALISBURY, Md. - The opioid epidemic is hitting close to home on Delmarva.  In Wicomico County, several groups  are asking the public to help fight this nationwide crisis.

The Recovery Resource Center in Salisbury is working to arm every day people with a certain tool to combat the opioid epidemic - education.

"Regular people like you and me who could be in the right time at the wrong place, and we happen to have the stuff and somebody's overdosing," explains the center's executive director Beth Ohlsson.  "Making sure it's accessible so that we can minimize the damage that opioids do."

The class teaches people about Narcan; what it is, how it works and how to use it.  Experts say the drug is the next step in fighting the epidemic, with most first responders already trained.

Jessica Taylor, with the prevention office in the county health department, comes to train four times a year for the center.  A volunteer from PRMC comes in and teaches how to do CPR. 

The work of the Recovery Resource Center, Wicomico Health Department and others is helping  the county gain recognition as the only one in the state with decreasing overdose numbers.

In 2017, the county has seen 310 overdoses, 26 fatalities, and has 343 trained to use Narcan through the end of October.

The seminar also added CPR training, after the technique saved an overdose victim in the center's parking lot two years ago.

Ohlsson calls it, "a necessary part of prevention."

The goal of these one-hour classes like these is to have more folks equipped to save a life at a moment's notice.

The Resource Recovery Center hosts these classes once a quarter.  The Wicomico Library also hosts Narcan classes every month, you can find those listed on the library calendar.

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