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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Teaching Children to Use Naloxone

Prescription opioid and heroin addiction has taken thousands of lives in recent years. Opioid overdose deaths are a national problem, which could get worse before it improves. Fortunately, a number of states and municipalities are working hard to make the life saving drug naloxone more accessible. Law enforcement and other first responders are being trained and equipped with the miracle medicine, a drug which can reverse the symptoms of an opioid overdose.

In some parts of the country, you no longer need a prescription to acquire naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan ®. Measures that put the drug in the hands of addicts and their loved ones, those who are most likely to discover an overdose taking place. Kentucky, a state which has been ravaged by the opioid epidemic, is about to teach children how to use naloxone, INDYSTAR reports. The controversial move could save even more lives.

Nine kids, ages 13 to 17, were trained to use naloxone in 2014 by Mentoring Plus of Northern Kentucky, a nonprofit that supports high-risk children. The organization training was part of a 10 week program on drug prevention for kids.

"At Mentoring Plus, we know our kids are living in communities where substance abuse is rampant," said Robin Anderson, program director. "For these kids, drugs are everywhere – their neighborhoods, schools, sometimes their homes," Anderson said.

"That is their reality, so they need the life skills required to live in and navigate that world: Skills like what to do when their best friend or brother is having an overdose, as most of our kids know someone who has."

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