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Lacey To Administer Pilot Program To Teach Families How To Administer Narcan

Lacey training will be done by a third party - a family in town

by Patricia A. Miller

Lacey Township is poised to administer a confidential Narcan training program for families who worry about their children or loved ones overdosing on heroin, Mayor Gary Quinn said.

"Narcan is such an important tool if you have a loved one or someone you know who uses heroin," Quinn said at the April 10 Township Committee meeting. "It's well worth the training. We'll do anything we can do help you."

The program is free and will be run by third party - a family in town, Quinn said.

Residents who want the training should send a confidential e-mail Police Chief David A. Paprota - chiefpaprota@lacey.org - that they are interested. They do not need to identify themselves, the mayor said.

The first class will have 20 slots and will get underway the third week in May, Committeeman David Most said.

The Narcan kit is not an injection, Committeeman Peter Curatola said.

"It's not a syringe," he said. "It's intra-nasal. It's a high-powered nasal spray."

Narcan cannot cure an addiction, but can reverse the effects of an overdose, he said.

"This will buy you more time," Curatola said . "You can't give it to someone and walk away. It's not a cure-all."

All Lacey police officers currently have Narcan kits in their patrol cars, Quinn said.

The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office held a Narcan training session for police officers and first responders throughout the county in February.

Narcan doesn't guarantee that a person who overdoses on heroin will be saved, training coordinator Dr. Kenneth Lavelle said then.

But it gives first responders a window of opportunity to reverse the heart-slowing effects of opium – whether it is heroin or a prescription pill overdose – and get a victim to the hospital for further treatment.

"If the patient is already in cadiac arrest, if their heart has already stopped, Narcan won't help at all," Lavelle said then. "But what would help, is if they've stopped breathing, a first responder can breathe for them, and this would help them to breathe again on their own."

"This is most useful when someone has injected so much [heroin] that they've stopped breathing, and they've got a couple minutes before brain cells die," he said. "That would be when somebody finds them turning blue, or when their breathing stops."

Narcan, essentially, gives first responders – or even family members of addicts who are trained in the administration of the drug – a window to help, said Lavelle.

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