Teaching heroin overdose response in Delaware

 Ocean View's Brian Caselli demonstrates the Narcan nasal spary. (Gene Ashley/WHYY)

Ocean View's Brian Caselli demonstrates the Narcan nasal spary. (Gene Ashley/WHYY)

Classes to teach people how to administer the overdose-reversing drug naloxone will start later this month.

The classes are part of legislation signed into law last summer in an effort to reduce the high number of heroin overdose deaths in Delaware. From January through August, there have been 132 suspected overdose deaths in the First State, many of which involved either heroin or prescription pain medicine.

Under the new law, residents can carry naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, to administer to a friend or family member going through an overdose. In 2013, the state also enacted a Good Samaritan provision, which would give legal immunity to those who call 911 to report an overdose. 

“For many Delaware families, the pain of loss from a loved one’s accidental overdose death has become far too common,” said Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf. “Naloxone training will bring a measure of comfort to families and friends who must live with the daily life-and-death burden that, unfortunately, comes along with addiction.”

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The first training class will be held at 1 p.m. on Oct. 25 at Brandywine Springs School at 916 Duncan Rd. Subsequent classes will be held around the state every month, except December, through next September. 

Those who attend the class can purchase a $50 nasal spray naloxone kit along with a wallet-sized card with information on how to use it.

Companion legislation also signed into law this summer allows police officers to carry and administer naloxone to people experiencing an overdose. Separate training for those officers has already started.

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