Naugatuck bringing back Narcan training

The Litchfield County Opioid Task Force provided community members at the Torrington Community Soup Kitchen with free Narcan drug overdose reversal kits after there were six overdoses in the county within the last 48 hours back in 2019. RA archive

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck Youth Services, in collaboration with local police, is resuscitating its Narcan training seminar after a break during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Step Up Naugy: Naugatuck’s Prevention Coalition will host a Narcan training workshop for the public Monday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Gem Room of the Naugatuck Event Center.

NYS Executive Director Kristin Mabrouk said the workshop will contain information on the opioid epidemic, and resources for Narcan training and treatment for people struggling with addiction.

“It’s applicable to anybody,” Mabrouk said. “There’s people who think it doesn’t apply to them, but you can run into anybody.”

Narcan, officially known as Naloxone, is a medicine that quickly reverses an opioid overdose. The medication attaches to opioid receptors, and reverses and blocks the effects of opioids, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Deputy Police Chief C. Colin McAllister said NYS has the background to train for Narcan and the police will be there to support the group.

“It’s training in familiarization of using Narcan as intervention for a drug related overdose,” McAllister said.

Mabrouk said the workshop may provide a pharmacist to give out Narcan. NYS also will have some doses for people who need it or don’t have health insurance.

“It’s really important to use because young people are not overdosing,” Mabrouk said. “We know it’s their family members. It’s the adults in their lives.”

There were 15 fatal opioid overdoses in Naugatuck in 2020, McAllister said. The average age was about 40 in the borough, Mabrouk noted.

She said a recent state lab sample found fentanyl mixed with marijuana. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.

There have been 39 incidences from July through Oct. 26 when people had to be given Narcan for revival and the patients claimed to have only smoked marijuana, according to the state Department of Public Health.

WATERBURY – More than a pound of heroin and fentanyl that was seized by federal drug agents from a Waterbury apartment last year is shown here on a digital scale. The bag of drugs was a portion of more than a kilogram that was found hidden in the ceiling tiles of the home on South Leonard Street. Wilton Reynoso, 46, was sentenced to five years in prison Monday in connection with the seizure. Photo contributed.

Someone at the workshop will demonstrate how to administer Narcan and attendees will get certificates, Mabrouk said.

“There’s no downside to having it,” she said of Narcan. “It’s pretty easy to do. It can’t hurt them and you can’t overdose on (it).”

The group plans to offer training seminars at least four times a year with Naugatuck police. The club also can teach a class on demand for another group, workplace or individual.

“Saturate the community with the info as much as we can, especially given the increase risks of fentanyl and more lethal substances,” Mabrouk said of the effort.

Police officers have administered 31 doses of Narcan to local people this year as of Monday. Certain cases required two doses, McAllister noted.

“If you can save someone’s life, that’s pretty powerful,” Mabrouk said. “If you don’t have it, you can’t reverse an overdose.”

Mabrouk said she hopes people take away the information and the confidence they can help someone.

“Take away some of that stigma that it’s not important info to them,” Mabrouk said. “It’s important to everyone.”

McAllister said it’s important for the public to come together to reduce fatal and nonfatal overdoses in Naugatuck

“I’d like people to take away that this is a community-wide problem and it’s going to take a community-wide solution,” he said. “Everyone can come together to reduce this issue.”