Gwinnett County health officials are teaming up with Navigate Recovery Gwinnett to offer a drug used to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses to the community for free.
The drug, known as Narcan or naloxone, will be made available on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month to friends and family members of opioid users, as well as users themselves, who want to have it on hand in case of an overdose.
They must pick up the dose at 10 a.m. at Navigate Recovery’s main office, Safe Harbor, which is located at 52 Gwinnett Drive in Lawrenceville. The only requirement to receive a dose is that the people receiving it must undergo a training beforehand on how to use it.
“In the midst of the nationwide opioid crisis, our goal is to educate the public to prevent opioid overdose deaths,”Gwinnett, Newton & Rockdale County Health Departments health district director Dr. Audrey Arona said. “Anyone can purchase Narcan from a pharmacy without a prescription. However, Navigate Recovery’s program is an excellent way for the community to access the medicine at no cost and receive training on how to use it.”
The health department is working with Navigate Recovery on the education effort. A recovery coach will walk training participants through the process of identifying overdose signs and symptoms as well as Narcan is administered.
Health officials said the best way to handle an overdose is to seek emergency medical care, but they also said that by working to reverse the effects of an overdose, Narcan can save an opioid user’s life until first responders can arrive.
“Families are hugely affected by the opioid crisis and often feel like they have no tools to prepare for the challenge of dealing with a loved one or a friend struggling with opioid misuse,” said Farley Barge, co-founder and president of Navigate Recovery Gwinnett. “This is a positive way to engage our community in combatting this public health epidemic and prevent unnecessary deaths.”
Officials said other training times can be made available, upon request for people who cannot make it on a Saturday. Anyone who would like to participate in a training can register at forms.gle/HKJHCc8Hio7tNxkt9.