Last Tuesday, Jan.28, the pharmacy fraternity, Alpha Zeta Omega (AZO) held an event on campus, Project DAWN, to promote awareness on how to administer Narcan or naloxone to someone who may be suffering an opioid overdose. With the opioid epidemic hitting Findlay and the surrounding area very hard, AZO has tried to help educate the student body on what to look for. At the event, Gary Bright, Injury Prevention Coordinator at Hancock Public Health, came to campus to provide Project DAWN Naloxone Training and distribute Narcan kits, which was funded by the Ohio Department of Health. Project DAWN stands for ‘Deaths Avoided with Narcan’, it is a fairly new idea across the state, which was started after a family lost their daughter to opioid overdose and there were no resources for the family.
This is the third event held like this and Opioid Epidemic Task Force Chair, Katherine Arnes, believes having these sessions like Project DAWN is very beneficial to students and that they should attend them.
“What if a child got their hands on the grandparents’ opioids, or if someone had surgery and took too many pills. Being able to react [to someone overdosing on opioids] when needed is a very important thing to know,” said Arnes.
After Ohio House Bill 170 was passed in March of 2018, it allowed these Narcan kits to be dispensed to the individual with an addiction, as well as a family member, friend, or loved one. It also allowed individuals to get a prescription of naloxone without actually having a prescription. Arnes thinks this will help decrease the number of overdoses of opioids in the state.
“If you have Narcan, that’s great, Gary Bright showed us how to use it [if someone is overdosing] and being aware of that [the knowledge of knowing how to administer Narcan] is great,” said Arnes.
However, Former Pemberville, OH EMT, Carl Roberts, thinks this may cause more accidental overdoses on Narcan. It all comes back to the amount of training people have gotten.
“If you give any more than 10 milligrams of Narcan to somebody [and] they’re not coming back from and they’re not clinically dead, there’s probably an underlying issue that you’re not addressing,” said Roberts. “If you’re giving them more than .1 milligrams for everyone to minutes, you’re actually overdosing them on Narcan.”
Roberts wanted to be very clear, administering Narcan is simple, but people have to be sure they are properly trained in administering it.
“You can put too much [Narcan in your system] and you basically trade one overdose for another one, it’s no joke, “said Roberts. “Proper training is the single most important thing when it comes to giving someone Narcan.”
As for Arnes and the rest of AZO, they are trying to work in conjuncture with Hidden in Plain Sight, a Hancock County Health Department initiative that helps parents know the signs of an at-risk child. While Hidden in Plain Sight may deal primarily with children, Arnes believes their fundamentals can be used for students at UF.
“They have a trailer [they use to train parents for children], “said Arnes. “While we don’t have the funding or the size to have a trailer, our plain is to educate them the same way as Hidden in Plain Sight does. It would be more of a sense to help and educate.”