Amid increase in overdoses, Narcan community distribution events to be held in Auburn
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Amid increase in overdoses, Narcan community distribution events to be held in Auburn

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Zebulon Parks inspects a Narcan dispenser during a Responding to Opioid Overdose training class sponsored by the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services at the Fingerlakes Mall.

Community events to train people how to use Narcan will be held this week in Auburn.

A total of 120 Narcan kits are available for distribution, according to a news release from Monika Salvage, Cayuga County HEALing Communities Study project director. Narcan is a medicine that can save the life of a person overdosing on opioids, including heroin, prescription opioid pain medicine or a drug containing fentanyl.

The events will be at Nick’s Ride 4 Friends, 12 South St. and AME Zion Church, 90 Franklin St., from noon to 4 p.m. July 1 and at Dom’s Grocery, 30 Orchard St., and Tay’s All American Variety Store, 161 State St., 2 to 6 p.m. July 2.

The kits are from the Drug Free Community Coalition, the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office and the Community Mental Health Center. Participants will be trained through a short video and given a free Narcan kit and other resource materials. Nick’s Ride 4 Friends will have peers at each location.

Social distancing and other safety guidelines must be followed. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available and disinfecting wipes will be used to wipe down devices and pens.

The Cayuga County HEALing Communities Study has been closely monitoring opioid overdoses as the numbers are rising. From January through June, law enforcement agencies (with the exception of state police) reported 91 overdoses with 12 fatal.

"(Nine) of these overdoses have been confirmed by the Coroner to be opioid-related," the release said. The toxicology reports on the other cases are still outstanding. This marks a stark contrast to 2019 when Cayuga County reported a total of nine fatal overdoses.

For people dealing with substance abuse disorder, holidays often have various triggers that could lead to excessive use and sometimes death, the news release said.

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