BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) — Opioid overdoses happen in every corner of the country and Beaufort County is no different. However, you can help keep that person alive if you have Narcan.
Narcan is a nasal spray that should be given to people who have overdosed on opioids. After some quick training on Monday, people in Beaufort County were sent home, with the potentially life-saving drug.
“Well-armed, just like CPR. Anything you can do just to be prepared,” said Saskia Amaro who, along with her family was trained how to use Narcan.
That is the Beaufort County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Department’s goal. To make sure as many people as possible are educated and willing to help save a life. After a few minutes of training, people walk away with a box of Narcan and now know how to use it.
“If people are encountering somebody with an overdose, maybe they’re not breathing. They can give this medication and then we save that person’s life and it gives people that extra peace of mind and a little extra measure of safety. We actually refer to this as harm reduction,” said Rebecca Whitt Burgess. Burgess is the Executive Director of the Beaufort County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Department.
Overdosing on opioids is the leading killer among Americans between the ages of 18 and 45. That’s a big reason why the department said it’s so important to know what to do and how to spot an overdose.
“What you would see is somebody who appears to be sleeping and you can’t revive them, you know, if you ask them and they can’t respond to you,” Whitt Burgess said. “Then you can go ahead and give the naloxone. So you give a dose in each nostril and you’re going to call 911 emergency services.”
Bonita McClain is one of many who took a few minutes on Monday to learn about Narcan. She’s a janitor for a local parks and recreation department. She said, she has found people unconscious in the bathrooms before and with what she knows now, if that happens again she’ll know how to help.
“I think it’s very important. It’s very, very important. It helps a lot of people,” McClain said. “I learned how to distribute it to them. You know, when I do run into somebody like that, the dosage and everything.”
The department said it was a pretty busy day for them. They handed out Narcan to many people in Beaufort who didn’t know much about the potentially life-saving drug beforehand but are now more prepared.
“Some people tell us it gives them that little bit of extra peace of mind that they’ve been concerned about it for a while, where they live in a community, where they’re concerned, where they might have a family member who might be using and they’re just happy to have this so that they can help save that person’s life,” Whitt Burgess said.