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Opioid Training Hopes to Curb Epidemic

Free opioid training will be offered in Warren, Henderson and Mercer counties during the month of May, and Susan Jensen, Behavioral Health Services Coordinator with Eagle View Community Health System, says that while the opioid epidemic affects many people, there seems to be one prominent group it affects the most:

“Right now statistics are showing that the most prominent person that overdoses is white, caucasian, middle-class females in their 30s,” Jensen said.

Jensen explains how the addiction begins:

“Usually it’s because pain medication and then that just continues. They get addicted to that pain medication, and then when they can’t get their prescriptions refilled because the physicians know that they really don’t need it for the pain medication, then they start reaching out and getting the black market drugs,” she stated.

The training begins Wednesday, May 9th from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Warren County History Museum by Behavior Health Specialist Charles Harris. Two other training sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, May 16th, and Monday, May 21st.

A federal grant provided the opportunity for free opioid training. The communities, emergency and first responders are encouraged to attend and receive free naloxone kits to help save the life of someone who has overdosed. Lt. Joe Bratcher with the Monmouth Police Department explains what opioids are:

“It is actually a chemical derivative of heroin, but it is used mainly in medical terms for surgery and issues like that. The problem we have had the last several years is people have taken that and turned it into a narcotic on the street. They have been lacing drugs with it, using it to enhance their high and not really getting the measures right there, and that is why people are overdosing on it,” Bratcher stated.

Topics include how opioids affect the human body, symptoms of an overdose, and how to prevent or reverse the overdose with Naloxone.

For more information contact Eagle View Community Health System, the Monmouth Police Department or the Warren County Sheriff’s office.

written by Vanessa Wetterling

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