As part of Overdose Awareness Day, public health workers with the city of Portland handed out 100 free doses of the overdose reversal medication known as Narcan in Monument Square Thursday night. They also provided training on the signs of overdose and how to administer the drug.
But the auto injectors themselves talk friends and families through what to do in an emergency, even if they’ve never been shown what to do. Community Health Promotion Specialist Lizzie Garnatz demonstrated what that the instructions sound like once you open the device.
“To inject, place black end against outer thigh. Then press firmly and hold in place for five seconds. Five, four, three, two, one. Injection complete,” the device’s audio instructions say.
Garnatz says the city health division’s goal is to get as much of the overdose reversal medication into the hands of as many people as possible. The doses were made available by the drug’s manufacturer.
“Narcan’s really easy to use. It’s been around since the 1970s and the beautiful thing about Narcan is it’s based on the ‘train the trainer’ model. So, we are helping folks understand tonight how to recognize signs and symptoms of an opiate overdose, risk factors that might lead to an opiate overdose and then how to administer the Narcan in the event that they come across,” she says.
Garnatz says the doses were made available to the city by the drug manufacturer.