There are still six open spots for a free program providing opiate overdose prevention kits and instructions for use coming to Meadville on Wednesday.

Opiate Overdose Prevention Training and Naloxone Training Administration and Distribution is Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at New Beginnings Church of God, 13226 Leslie Road.

Naloxone is a medication, or opioid receptor antagonist, that counters the effects of an opioid overdose, reversing the depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system. If administered quickly, it can bring an overdose victim, who has stopped breathing, back to life.

Prevention Point in Pittsburgh, a drug addiction treatment center, agreed to provide overdose prevention education, Naloxone training and distribution of Naloxone free to the Meadville community through the efforts of Autumn Ferringer, founder of the Northwest Pennsylvania Chapter of Not One More, which has a mission to raise awareness and prevent drug abuse in the community through education and community partnerships. The local chapter is part of a national organization in California.

"The support group that I hold weekly on Tuesday nights for those families affected by someone with addiction felt that bringing education to our community needs to be a priority," Ferringer said. "We are concerned about the increase of overdoses, the limited first responders to rural areas surrounding the city and the lack of knowledge about intervention."

There were 28 non-suicide related drug overdose deaths in Crawford County in 2015, according to Scott Schell, Crawford County coroner.

Crawford County had 16 drug-related overdose deaths in 2014, according to a report released in November by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division Intelligence Program. The DEA conducted a broad analysis of illicit drug and diverted pharmaceutical misuse in the state, as examined through drug-related overdose death data.

The training will be provided by The Overdose Prevention Project of Prevention Point Pittsburgh. It will provide practical information about ways to reduce the risk of overdose, how to identify symptoms of an overdose, what to do (and what not to do) if you are present when someone overdoses, how to administer Narcan and Naloxone and information about the new overdose prevention law, Pa. Act 139.

Senate Bill 1164 was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf last September as Act 139 of 2014.

This legislation allows first responders including law enforcement, firefighters, EMS or other organizations the ability to administer Naloxone. The law also allows individuals such as friends or family members that may be in a position to assist a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose to obtain a prescription for Naloxone. Additionally, Act 139 provides immunity from prosecution for those responding to and reporting overdoses.

Anyone interested in attending the program should email nomnwpa@yahoo.com to ensure an adequate supply of Naloxone kits. Naloxone will be available at the training for those in need of a take-home supply.

Lorri Drumm can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at lorrid@meadvilletribune.com.

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