Narcan now available through Greenfield Tapestry Health office
A single dose of the opioid overdose antidote Naloxone hydrochloride, commonly know by the brand name Narcan, in a nasal spray device. Recorder/Paul Franz
A single dose of the opioid overdose antidote Naloxone hydrochloride, commonly know by the brand name Narcan, in a nasal spray device. This dose was obtained at a Tapestry Health training session last year.
GREENFIELD — The Greenfield office of Tapestry Health will now offer the heroin overdose antidote Narcan, or naloxone hydrochloride, a safe and easy to administer medication that can bring an overdose victim back from the brink.
Tapestry Health previously offered Narcan training and free doses of the antidote through its Northampton and Holyoke needle exchanges, with occasional trainings in Greenfield and the North Quabbin, as part of a state overdose prevention pilot program. The nonprofit public health agency will now offer the service Monday through Friday, by appointment, out of the 80 Sanderson St. office.
Heroin and prescription opioids are depressants, and in sufficient doses will slow breathing to a stop. Narcan, or naloxone hydrochloride, elbows these drugs out of the opiate receptors in the brain, temporarily returning the patient to a state of sobriety.
Bystanders trained and provided with it through a state pilot program may administer Narcan as a nasal spray.
The Recover Project in Greenfield, a peer-to-peer addiction recovery support program, has hosted two Narcan trainings with Tapestry since last summer.
Narcan has become increasingly prominent as the addiction crisis continues to worsen in Massachusetts, and stories of people saved by friends armed with the antidote multiply. In declaring a public health emergency on Thursday, Gov. Deval Patrick made permitting police and firefighters to carry Narcan one of his four first steps.
First, call 911
Because opioids stay in the user’s system longer than Narcan, because a single dose may not be enough, and because it will have no effect on non-opioid drugs in the user’s system, calling 911 for medical help remains the first step.
A state Good Samaritan law protects people calling 911 to report an overdose from prosecution for drug possession and protects those administering Narcan from lawsuits.
The Narcan distribution program is intended for anyone who believes they may be in a position to witness an overdose. Area police departments have logged overdoses or reports of heroin use in homes and in the bathrooms of fast food restaurants, libraries and churches.
To set up a training, call Tapestry Health at (413) 773-8888.