Ep 58 Narcan and Opioids

Contributors: Thomas Yeum and Dr. Emran of Simple Health Radio

On this episode of Simple Health Radio, Dr. Emran discusses an intriguing TedTalk entitled “The Critical Role Librarians Play in the Opioid Crisis”

This presentation follows the experiences of Chera Kowalski in her daily accounts working as a librarian in a poor neighborhood in Philadelphia. In front of the Free Library where she works, countless drug transactions are often made. Many people injecting heroin and passing out on the spot in broad daylight.

She recalls a very intimate experience with death when she came across a man overdosing on the steps in front of the library. Luckily Kowalski had been trained in combating these situations and acted quickly by administering Narcan. She saved his life. Once he did wake up a few minutes later, the man simply got up and walked away.

This incident occurred in full view of a classroom full of elementary students and it left a lasting impression on her.

Narcan, or naloxone, was first introduced in 1961 as an injection or nasal drug, used to bump opioids out from the brain’s opiate receptors. One of its many benefits is the fact that it has virtually no side effects and has been used countless times to save lives.

Kowalski, having had firsthand experience with drug abuse, realized the necessity of quicker care, as ambulances could often take too long to arrive at the scenes of overdoses. She joined the Train the Trainer program, where much like CPR training, individuals learn how to administer Narcan.

She urges the audience to take part in the active management of the opioid crisis.

In reviewing the content of this TedTalk, Dr. Emran reiterates the importance of the Train the Trainer program, as deaths related to opioid use will surely keep climbing. Every 16 seconds, a person dies of an overdose. He encourages the audience to take initiative and join this program as well.

 

References:

The Critical Role Librarians Play in the Opioid Crisis:

https://www.tedmed.com/talks/show?id=691192

https://www.ted.com/speakers/chera_kowalski

https://www.cvs.com/content/prescription-drug-abuse/save-a-life

http://odprevention.org/

http://harmreduction.org/

http://stopoverdoseil.org/narcan.html

 

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