Narcan training set for Monday as overdoses spike in east

GREENFIELD — A distribution and training in the use of opioid overdose antidote Narcan is scheduled for Monday in the RECOVER Project office at the corner of Federal and Osgood streets.

Opioid Education and Awareness Task Force coordinator Maris Hebble called attention to the training this week in light of a recent spate of apparent overdoses in Worcester, where the state Division of Public Health issued a health advisory Wednesday after at least nine people died in six days.

The Worcester Telegram and Gazette reported that heroin is suspected in eight of the deaths.

Narcan is the common brand name for nasally administered naloxone hydrochloride, a chemical that can briefly block the effects of heroin or opioid painkillers on the brain.

The nasal spray is easy to use, its use is protected under Good Samaritan laws, and it is available free without a prescription through a state overdose prevention pilot program targeting the friends and family of opioid users and other possible bystanders. The Good Samaritan law also protects witnesses calling 911 to report an overdose from drug possession charges.

The training is offered by Tapestry Health. The agency’s Sanderson Street office also offers training by appointment, 413-773-8888. The antidote is also available by prescription.

The RECOVER Project peer-to-peer recovery organization can be reached at 413-774-5489 with questions about Monday’s training.

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