HOPEWELL: County officials to train the public on Narcan use

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HOPEWELL: County officials to train the public on Narcan use

Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
Aiming to help those at risk of an opioid overdose, as well as their friends and family, a free training session on how to use Narcan is set for Nov. 15 at the Hopewell Branch Library of the Mercer County Library System.
The program, which starts at 6 p.m., is being co-sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance and the Hopewell Branch Library of the Mercer County Library System. The library is located at 245 Pennington-Titusville Road.
The free training session will teach attendees how to administer Narcan (naloxone) to reverse a heroin or opioid overdose. There is no pre-registration for the program and no limit on the number of persons who can attend. The first 30 attendees will receive a free Narcan nasal spray kit.
Opioid addiction and overdosing is a growing problem in the United States and in New Jersey. Between 2014 and 2015, there was a 16.4 percent increase in opioid overdose deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Nationwide, there were 33,000 deaths in 2015 as a result of opioid overdoses. Nearly half of those deaths involved a prescription opioid, such as OxyContin or Vicodin, the CDC said. The rest were from other opioids, such as heroin.
Heroin is a significant problem because it is cheaper than a  pill, and it is readily available on the street, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said at a recent presentation on opioid abuse.
Pills are much more expensive than a “deck” of heroin, which is about the size of a sugar packet, Onofri said. That’s what accounts for the increase in heroin use. Heroin is highly addictive.