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ACR Health ready to train overdose responders


Last Friday, April 18, Syracuse police reported five heroin overdoses in the previous 24 hours.  Also on Friday, ACR Health hosted a Training of Trainers for the education and distribution of the life-saving prescription drug, naloxone or Narcan, which reverses heroin overdoses within minutes.  Thirty-four staff and peer educators from ACR Health’s nine-county region took part in the training session facilitated by Dr. Laura Martin, DO of St. Joseph’s Family Physicians.


“Narcan saves lives,” said Erin Bortel, ACR Health Director of Prevention Services.  “ACR Health took a huge step on Friday to address an urgent need our community is facing.  We are here to help and we want everyone to know it.”


ACR Health will provide free overdose prevention trainings to community members and other providers in Onondaga, Cayuga, Madison, Oneida, Herkimer, Lewis, Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties as early as next week.  At the trainings, participants will receive instruction on how to recognize the signs of an overdose, calling 911 for emergency medical response, and how to administer the naloxone via an intramuscular injection.  Participants will walk out of the training with an Overdose Prevention Rescue Kit and the resources they need to save the life of someone experiencing an overdose from heroin and other prescription opiates such as Oxycontin, Hydrocodone and Vicodin. 


Tens of thousands of lives in the U.S. have been saved by the use of naloxone to reverse overdoses, and access to this training and the overdose prevention kit are key strategies to educating the public and saving more lives.  To sign up for training email: Narcan@ACRHealth.org.  For more information on how to access Opioid Overdose Prevention training and the other services described, call 800.475.2430or visit the ACR Health website at www.acrhealth.org.


The program was initiated by the recent certification of ACR Health as an Opioid Overdose Prevention Service by the New York State Department of Health.  Since 2006, NYS public health law (2006) has permited the NYS Department of Health to authorize Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs such as the one ACR Health is implementing.