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Narcan education and distribution events to be held in Columbia, other areas in Mid-Missouri


Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services is partnering with other local organizations to host a naloxone education and distribution event

PHHS is partnering with the Boone County Overdose Response Coalition to host the event at 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday at CenterPoint Hospital.

It is part of a series of events that is free to the public, according to a press release sent this week. The event features "education and conversation around how members in the community can help prevent opioid overdose deaths through the use of Naloxone, also known as NARCAN."

The training includes learning how to recognize the signs of opioid overdoses and a demonstration of how the overdose-reversing drug is administered.

PHSS spokesperson Ryan Sheehan said during its last event they had around 70 people join virtually. The event was held virtually due to inclement weather, the upcoming event will be hosted in person.

"It's important for people to understand what Narcan is," Sheehan said. "It's nothing to be afraid of, it's really simple to use."

The nasal spray is used to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses to save lives. In 2021, the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services reported that 1,581 Missourians lost their lives due to drug overdoses.

"It's really important because as we explain in the presentation Narcan can be used by anyone, any walk of life," Sheenan said. "Drugs are increasing in potency, and so that makes them more dangerous."

Narcan is available at PHHS during operating hours, and those who attend the event will be given a free one to take home with them as well.

Sheenan said even if you don't know someone who is an addict, Narcan is still a good thing to carry around, just in case you come across someone suffering from an overdose. Sheenan said he carries it around.

"Hopefully, I never will (have to use it). But that's the whole point of having Narcan," he said. "You hope you never have to use it. But if you do, you're prepared."

Sheenan said Narcan is temperature sensitive and advises that you avoid keeping it in your car, especially as the seasons change. The FDA says it has a shelf life of 36 months.

The Cooper County Public Health Center is also ramping up its efforts to prevent opioid overdoses as well. In a news release from the center, it states that the kits are free of charge with no prescription needed.

Cooper County Public Health center is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Central Ozarks Medical Centers is launching a Narcan Vending Machine, as well. The machine will be located inside the Lebanon Police Department. Narcan from the machine will be free to the public.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia
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Marina Diaz

Marina is a Multimedia Journalist for ABC 17 News, she is originally from Denver, Colorado. She went to Missouri Valley College where she played lacrosse and basketball, and anchored her school’s newscast.


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