From the Harford County Health Department:
The Harford County Health Department’s Addiction Services Division announces a new initiative designed to provide community education, promote access to prescription Naloxone and facilitate overdose prevention, early identification and treatment.
Under the leadership and supervision of Addictions Services Medical Director, Dr. Julie Stancliff, D.O. and Director of Addictions Services, Beth Jones, MS, LCADC, the Division has been authorized by the Maryland Overdose Prevention Program to direct an Overdose Response Program that includes a Naloxone Training and Certification. The program also enables certificate holders to access prescription Naloxone, as well as to carry (possess) and administer the prescription in event of an emergency.
States Ms. Jones about the initiative, “The purpose of the Opioid Overdose Plan is to reduce unintentional, life-threatening poisonings related to the ingestion of opioids. In Harford County, stakeholders
are striving to create a paradigm shift in the county, reduce overdose deaths and increase the number of people receiving behavioral health services.”
Several training dates already are scheduled at Edgewood Hall on the campus of the Harford Community College located at 401 Thomas Run Road just off Route outside of Bel Air off Route 22, for which registration is required. Dates and times are as follows:
• Thursday, May 22, 2014 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm
• Tuesday, June 10, 2014 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm
• Tuesday, June 17, 2014 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm
The Addictions Services Division also will continue to provide free Naloxone Certification Trainings on a quarterly basis, or individual, as needed.
The trainings will include information about Harford County addiction and mental health treatment resources, as well as instructions on the treatment of an opioid overdose, including: recognition of the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, the importance of contacting emergency personnel, rescue breathing techniques, protocols for proper use, storage and administration of Naloxone; and the care of an individual following the administration of Naloxone. Upon successful completion of the Naloxone Certification Training, a two (2) year Certificate will be issued to persons who reasonably can expect to assist a family member, loved one or through their occupation or volunteer work, a person experiencing an opioid overdose. Certificate holders also will, upon request, be provided with a prescription for intranasal Naloxone.
Naloxone is a drug used to counter the effects of opioid overdose, such as heroin or morphine specifically the effects of life-threatening depression of the central nervous system on breathing and blood pressure secondary to opiate overdose. Naloxone is included as a part of emergency overdose response kits and has been shown to reduce rates of fatal overdose. Programs training police and fire personnel in opioid overdose response using naloxone already have also shown great promise in the US and there is increasing effort to integrate opioid fatality prevention in the overall response to the overdose crisis.
Members of the public who are interested in registering for an upcoming Naloxone Certification Training or who have any questions about the program should visit the Health Department’s website at www.harfordcountyhealth.com and can contact Wendy T. Kanely at 410-877-2355 or Beth Jones, Division Director at 410-877-2340.