In May 2013, Gov. Christie signed The Overdose Prevention Act, which outlined protections for health-care professionals who administered the opiate overdose antidote Naloxone, also known by the trade name Narcan, when dealing with those who might have overdosed on heroin or other opiates.
As a result of the Camden County Board of Freeholders Addiction Awareness Task Force and funding from the state Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Naloxone training courses will take place throughout several locations in Camden County this summer, including Voorhees.
On Tuesday, July 21, and again on Tuesday, Aug. 25, from 6–8 p.m. in Voorhees at the Center For Family Services Living Proof Recovery Center, 108 Somerdale Road, two training courses will be held to educate participants on how to administer Naloxone in the event they may someday need to reverse a heroin or opioid overdose.
Both training sessions will take place in a confidential setting and will be run by accredited addiction counselors and licensed nurses.
During the sessions, participants will learn about techniques to prevent overdoses, symptoms and signs of overdose, what steps to follow if an overdose should occur, rescue breathing and how to actually administer Naloxone if necessary, as well as treatment options for those with addictions and other resource information.
Camden County Addiction Awareness Task Force member Patty DiRenzo, who lost a son to an overdose in 2010, said the trainings can provide a chance for those with addicts in their family to better recognize potentially fatal signs.
“It gives us the opportunity to recognize it and how to intervene,” DiRenzo said. “Not everyone knows how to recognize an overdose. This brings it all forward and it teaches them to recognize the signs and symptoms.”
Those who attend and successfully complete a training course will receive a free Naloxone kit.
“Giving Naloxone to family members who might be living with someone who misuses drugs is just vital because it saves so much time,” DiRenzo said.
Other training courses that will take place throughout Camden County include those on Tuesday, July 14 and Aug. 20 at St. Charles Borromeo Parish, 176 Stagecoach Road in Sicklerville; Tuesday, July 28 at Collingswood Municipal Alliance, 30 W. Collings Ave. in Collingswood; and Tuesday, Aug 11 at the Bellmawr Municipal Alliance, Bellmawr Municipal Building, 21 E. Browning Road, Bellmawr.
All training courses are open to the public, but will be limited to 20 participants on a pre-registration basis. To register, call Urban Treatment Associates, INC at (856) 225–0505.
“Look at how many lives Naloxone has already saved,” DiRenzo said. “There could be parents that were burying their children and instead they’re alive.”
Those looking for information about the Camden County Addiction Awareness Task Force, opiate addiction or future training course announcements can visit addictions.camdencounty.com.
The site was launched by the Camden County Freeholder Board and Addiction Awareness Task Force earlier this year to provide residents with resources and information on how to prevent and treat addiction.