Blog
Apr 23
Blog: NARCAN® Training

Saratoga Hospital’s Addiction Medicine Program provides high-quality care without judgement, in an environment where people struggling with addiction can receive comprehensive, personalized, and respectful treatment.  

What makes this program particularly unique is how patient-centered it is. Doctors and family members cannot enrNarcan Trainingoll for the patient. The person seeking help has to contact the team directly to sign-up.

But there are other ways family and friends can help those battling addiction, and one of the most important is to educate yourself. The team at Saratoga Community Health Center provides a number of free seminars each year to address addiction issues in the community, how to access treatment, and potentially life-saving trainings on how to use NARCAN®. 

Recently, Lauren Kelly, CASAC, and Margaret Lane, RN, hosted one such program to teach members of the community how to administer the NARCAN® nasal spray. They addressed the science behind an opioid overdose, how it leads to respiratory suppression, and how the NARCAN® reverses it by reminding the respiratory system to get back to work.

NARCAN® doesn’t work on someone who’s in distress due to alcohol poisoning, or someone who overdosed on stimulants or benzos. However, it won’t cause any harm to those people, either. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to administer NARCAN® for fear of causing more damage.

That said, NARCAN® will only block opioids for 30-90 minutes, so it’s not a substitute for emergent care. As soon as you’ve administered NARCAN®, call 911 to get help immediately. It is possible the person could go back into respiratory suppression if they do not get medical attention quickly. 

Those who attended the training left with a kit to carry with them. It included two doses of the NARCAN® spray, a pair of gloves, a booklet with directions in English and Spanish, and a plastic face guard to protect both the person who overdosed and the person administering the NARCAN®. If they use it, participants can get refills from the Community Health Center, or from a local pharmacy. 

If you’re struggling with addiction and would like to get help, please call the Addiction Medicine team at 518-886-5600. If you are interested in attending a future NARCAN® training, please email us at communityed@saratogahospital.org.

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