Gwinnett residents can get free Narcan with overdose training

Narcan can be administered at least three different ways: with a nasal spray, an intramuscular injection or an auto-injector. BO EMERSON / BEMERSON@AJC.COM

Gwinnett County residents can get free Narcan, a life-saving medication used for opioid overdoses, if they participate in a training at a local recovery center.

Navigate Recovery offers the drug and class every second and fourth Saturday of the month at its Safe Harbor office. The Gwinnett County Health Department is partnering with the organization to teach the public about opioid addiction, how to recognize when an overdose has occurred and how to get help recovering from addiction, it said in a press release.

Narcan is available for purchase without a prescription at many pharmacies, but the training will help people better understand how to use it, said Audrey Arona, health director for the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments. Narcan is the brand name of the drug naloxone, which can be used in the case of an overdose of drugs including heroin and opiates like fentanyl and oxycodone.

The training with Navigate Recovery will teach participants of signs and symptoms of an overdose and how to administer Narcan. Participants will also be able to ask questions of a recovery coach.

“Families are hugely affected by the opioid crisis and often feel like they have no tools to prepare for the challenge of dealing with a loved one or a friend struggling with opioid misuse,” said Farley Barge, co-founder and president of Navigate Recovery Gwinnett, in the release. “This is a positive way to engage our community in combatting this public health epidemic and prevent unnecessary deaths.”

While Narcan can help prevent an opioid overdose from being fatal, emergency medical personnel should still be called, the health department said.

Those interested in participating can sign up online. Safe Harbor is located at 52 Gwinnett Drive in Lawrenceville.

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