Rescuer trainings set

Published 12:19 pm Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Beginning in September, community members have had the opportunity to learn how to recognize and potentially revive those affected by opioid overdose.

Nicole Hill, prevention specialist with the Crossroads Community Services Board said the REVIVE free lay rescuer training sessions have taken place once a month at its location at 214 Bush River Drive.

“At times, there has been such a high volume of interest that we have had to do two (sessions) in one month,” Hill said.

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She said during the sessions, participants learn how to recognize the signs of opioid overdose, and even receive a narcan prescription that they can take with them.

“Every trainee gets to leave with a prescription of narcan in their name,” Hill said.

Narcan, also known as Naloxone or Evzio, can be administered by a needle or by a nasal spray and can revive those affected by opioid overdose.

Hill said community members can request narcan from representatives from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and receive a narcan prescription through the training sessions. She said some prescriptions may need to be purchased through their health insurance.

According to a news release about a forum held in Cumberland County, cited in a previous Herald report, Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared the opioid addiction crisis in Virginia a public health emergency in late 2016, and recently, the federal government made a similar declaration for the entire nation.

“Opioids include illegal drugs such as heroin as well as prescription pain medications such as morphine, codeine, methadone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl and suboxone,” officials said in the release.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, opioid overdoses can occur when a patient misunderstands the directions for use, accidentally takes an extra dose, deliberately misuses a prescription opioid or an illicit drug such as heroin or takes opioid medications prescribed for someone else.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reports that it has noticed a shift in the causes of overdose deaths. In its Opioid Overdose Data Quarterly Report for the Fourth Quarter of 2016, the VDH reported that prescription opioids had historically led to the largest number of overdose deaths; however, in 2015 illegal opioids such as heroin became the leading cause of fatal overdoses.

Hill said members of the community have responded positively to the programs.

“We’ve received wonderful feedback from the community members,” Hill said. “We’ve trained our Crossroads staff as well as several groups of nurses in the local areas, and everyone is so receptive. We’ve gotten wonderful compliments from them that this training is something that’s definitely needed in the local area, and they were glad for the opportunity to be able to participate in something like this.”

Hill said registration slots for the next training session, set for Friday, are already filled. She said participants can register for the next training session, which is scheduled for March 2 at 5-6:30 p.m. and April 6 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Crossroads location.

Hill said participants can learn more about the training session or register by calling (434) 392-9461 or