Every month, community members will gather to receive free overdose reversal training, a new offering through Buncombe County Health and Human Services with the goal of empowering the community to potentially save a life.
The one-hour training will be held on the first Friday of every month at the Health and Human Services building at 40 Coxe Avenue in Asheville starting at noon.
During the training, participants hear from educators about signs of an opioid overdose, how to use naloxone, who is at risk of using opioids and why, harm reduction principles, and more. Participants can also ask questions, and at the end of the training, receive a Narcan kit while supplies last.
Join Health and Human Services at our next overdose reversal training on Friday, July 7 starting at noon at 40 Coxe Avenue in Asheville.
For more details on the training, its goals, and who should consider participating, Harm Reduction Coordinator Mitchell Albers answers a few questions.
What are some of the key topics from the Overdose Reversal training?
Mitchell: Key topics covered in the overdose reversal training include building opioid awareness, who is at risk and why, Harm Reduction principles, signs of an opioid overdose, steps to reversing an overdose with naloxone, as well as current Buncombe County initiatives that are actively combating the opioid crisis in our community. The hope is that individuals walk away from our training feeling better equipped to reverse an overdose in the community, have a better understanding of what Harm Reduction entails, and hear what is actively being done to reduce overdose risks and rates in our community.
What motivated Health and Human Services to host this training?
Mitchell: Part of what motivated Health and Human Services to host standing naloxone training was the sheer demand in the community. It felt pertinent to establish a set time when anyone from the community could come in and get the same training that we go out and provide day-to-day to community partners and agencies. And they receive free naloxone for attending. It is important to ensure that our community feels empowered to step in and save a life, as the number of fatal overdoses surpassed 100,000 for the first time in 2021. Simply put, the more widely this medication is distributed, the fewer fatal overdoses will occur.
Who should receive this training? Which organizations or individuals should reach out to receive naloxone?
Mitchell: Anyone and everyone should receive this training from concerned parents to People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) and everyone in between. We actively partner with community organizations to bring training directly to them, but those who have not been able to attend at their organization are welcome to attend a training held at Health and Human Services.
What else should the community know about?
Mitchell: Our Syringe Service Program is located on the lower level of 40 Coxe Avenue in Asheville with daily operational hours of noon-4 p.m., Monday-Friday. Our services and supplies are free to all, confidential, and peer-led. If any organization is interested in reaching out to schedule individualized training for their staff or have other questions, they can email Mitchell.Albers@buncombecounty.org.