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New Movement Aligns Narcan Training With CPR

There are certain essentials that go with being a first responder. CPR training, for example, has been a necessity for decades and virtually all health professionals know how to administer this life saving technique. But amid today’s opioid crisis, many are calling for another procedure to be mastered as well.

That would be narcan training, which involves the the administration of a crucial drug which can help stop overdoses. The truth of the matter is, many first responders currently lack the essential knowledge behind narcan (or naloxone) use and most don’t even carry it.

Several high profile recovery advocates have now spoken out though and want this community to rethink how they approach a distress call. Surgeon General Jerome Adams has urged America as a whole to become better acclimated with narcan.

“We should think of narcan like an EpiPen or CPR,” Adams urged when speaking with NPR. “Unfortunately, over half of the overdoses that are occurring are occurring in homes, so we want everyone to be armed to respond.”

Another outspoken advocate, Dr. Mark Calarco, heads up clinical diagnostics at the American Addiction Centers. In an article for MedCity News, he discussed the importance of these types of trainings and pushed for local officials to work towards de-stigmatizing addiction. Dr. Calarco believes that many top law officials prefer to turn a blind eye to the deadly overdoses happening across the country.

“With tens of thousands of American lives lost each year to drug overdose, it’s critical that we begin training Americans to administer narcan, just as we did with CPR,” Dr. Calarco emphasized. ““Right now, it feels like there’s some controversy over making narcan so readily and widely available. The reluctance is based mostly on the stigma associated with addiction and mental health issues, and an overall lack of understanding about how addiction impacts an individual and the community. The truth is, addiction and overdose can affect anyone. It doesn’t discriminate based on income, gender, ethnicity, or background.”

And the actual training is not difficult at all. Narcan doses are sold at local pharmacies and come with an instructional kit that easily explains how to administer the drug. Dr. Calarco certainly has a point with the fact that the trainings are easy and extremely beneficial. As he put it, a simple measure like this can literally save thousands of lives.