Students undergo Narcan training

By Cecilia Cress
News Co-Editor

On Monday, Oct. 18 and Thursday, Oct. 21, representatives from the Kent County Health Department came to Washington College to conduct Narcan training sessions.

According to an email sent out by the Student Government Association on Oct. 13, Narcan “is a nasal spray that can treat narcotic overdoses in emergency situations.” 

These individuals came from Recovery in Motion, a wellness center in Kent County, Md. According to the Kent County Business Directory, Recovery in Motion is a “wellness center supporting our community. RIM offers a monthly calendar of activities that include support groups, space for teens, guided yoga and meditation, movies, one on one peer support, Nar-Anon, job search assistance, computer skills, prevention and education, recovery housing” and more.

Recovery in Motion “offers a wide range of services that provide our community with the tools to increase their well-being,” according to the Kent County Health Department website. RIM especially focuses on peer support “and care coordination to assist persons in recovery with behavior and addiction issues.” 

 The representatives are peer support advocates. According to Advocate Chloe O’Neill, who led the event and training, peer support advocates are individuals who “work in the addictions field.” 

“Everybody that works in our office is in recovery, which means we have a history of substance abuse. All of us have to have two or more years clean in order to hold our job, just to be able to help somebody to the best of our ability,” O’Neill said.

According to O’Neill, there were 11 opioid-related deaths this year in Kent County, which is a testament to how important being certified in Narcan is.

“It may not seem like a lot but we’re also in a small community,” O’Neill said. “That’s eleven lives that we’ve lost that we didn’t have to — parents, children, aunts, uncles.”

 During the event, students were educated on the specifics of opioid overdose signs and symptoms as well as how Narcan works, how to use it, and when it should be administered. After being certified, students were given the option to take doses of Narcan with them, as they were trained to use them in case of an emergency.

According to an informational flyer passed out at the event, signs and symptoms of opioid overdose include slow or nonexistent breathing, blue lips and nails, choking, gurgling or snoring sounds, cold and clammy skin, tiny pupils, or if the individual cannot be woken up or isn’t moving. 

O’Neill clarified that Narcan will not be effective if used on someone who is not suffering from an opioid overdose from drugs such as “heroin, cocaine, hydrocodone, percocets,” and others, and that Narcan “does not take the place of a medical care emergency.” Emergency services should still be called even if Narcan is used on an individual in an opioid overdose situation. 

Recovery in Motion holds free support groups every day of the week, both virtually and in-person, for individuals suffering from addiction or for anyone who needs any kind of mental health support in a judgement-free setting.

There is a “Worthy Women” peer support group every Monday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. for “weekly motivation, support, and encouragement” for women. There is also a “Family Firm and Foundations” group every Thursday from 10 to 11 a.m. to “help families rebuild what was broken from the ground up” and to “regain a solid family bond again with compassion, trust, and love,” according to flyers handed out at the Narcan training event. 

More information about these groups can be found on the Recovery in Motion website.

Photo by Lorna Cummings

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