What exactly is naloxone?

Sunday evening, people in Mercer County learned just that from the Mercer County Coalition for Drug Awareness

SHARPSVILLE, Pa. (WYTV) – Naloxone — it’s a term we hear almost daily due to the drug epidemic that has stricken the Valley and nation.

But what is this opiate overdose drug and how is it used?

Sunday evening, about two dozen people in Mercer County learned how the drug is used, as well as ways to educate the public and break the stigma of drug and opiate use, at an informational meeting sponsored by the Mercer County Coalition for Drug Awareness.

When a person is overdosing on an opioid, it can be very hard to wake them. Naloxone, or the branded drug Narcan, is a prescription medicine that blocks the effects of opioids and reverses an overdose.

narcan“That’s just not your heroin,” said Douglas Dick, Superior Ambulance EMS chief. “It’s your prescription pain medications that all of us have probably had at one point in time in our lives.”

Dick briefly explained to the crowd how naloxone and Narcan is used.

“We need to get people engaged in using the Narcan,” he said. “Using it appropriately and then again getting those people into the system and hopefully getting them turned around.”

The chief then explained the time sensitivity of the drug and how immediate intervention is key in saving lives.

“A lot of times, it is not effective because of time elements that have gone by for the patient,” Dick said.

The second half of the meeting focused on education and breaking the stigma of drug addiction.

“Narcan is just not a save all,” said Jack Luchetti of Stamp Out Stigma. “We want to reiterate that there are programs out there that people who have addiction problems need to seek out this other help.

“We’re going to end stigma by education and sharing information.”

For more information on the Mercer County Coalition for Drug Awareness, check out its Facebook page.