Save a Life from Opioid Overdose!

Southwest Virginia has the highest rates of accidental overdose deaths from opioids in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

On Saturday, April 1st at 10:00 a.m. at the Bonnie Hurlburt Student Center at Radford University. One Care of Southwest Virginia will sponsor a REVIVE! training to provide education on how to save the life of a family member or friend who has accidentally overdosed on an opioid. REVIVE! is a program of the Commonwealth of Virginia which makes naloxone available to lay rescuers to reverse opioid overdoses. A collaborative effort with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) taking the lead, the project includes the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Health Professions, recovery community organizations such as the McShin Foundation, OneCare of Southwest Virginia, the Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance of Virginia (SAARA), and other stakeholders.

Virginia has been severely impacted by opioid abuse, particularly the abuse of prescription drugs. In 2014, 511 citizens died as the result of misuse of prescription opioid medications. The overall number of drug/poisoning in 2014 cases increased by 8.8% compared to 2013. The deaths related to all opioids, including heroin, are even higher. In 2011, for the first time ever, drug-related deaths happened at a higher per capita level than motor vehicle crashes — 9.6 deaths per 100,000 for drug-related deaths versus 9.4 deaths per 100,000 for motor vehicle crashes.

Naloxone, a prescription medication, is a specific opioid antagonist drug that reverses the effects that opioids have in the brain. When a person overdoses on opioids, the opioid overwhelms the receptors in the brain, slowly decreasing respiration before finally stopping it altogether. Naloxone has a very high affinity for these receptors and effectively pushes the opioid off of the brain receptor. This action allows a person to resume respiration. Naloxone has been used for years by emergency medical technicians and emergency room doctors to reverse overdoses. Outside of this singular purpose, naloxone has no effect on the body, and poses no danger to anyone who administers it to themselves or someone else.

During the training, you will learn how to identify causes and risk factors for opioid overdose, discuss common myths about overdose reversal, learn why naloxone is now available for intranasal administration in Virginia, and how to provide step-by-step administration of intranasal naloxone in the case of an opioid overdose. Each participant will be required to register upon arrival, and will receive an intranasal naloxone kit and prescription for naloxone. The training is provided at no cost to participants and will last approximately 1 hour.

The training will take place at the Radford University, Bonnie Hurlburt Student Center on Jefferson Street at Clement Street Radford, VA 24142 on Saturday, April 1st at 10:00 a.m. Please contact Sarah Melton at 276-971-6097 with any questions.