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Free Online Training On Dealing With Drug Overdoses Offered Monday By JFRD

Jackson Township (Pa.) Police Chief Terry Seilhamer shows boxes of Narcan, a drug used to treat opioid overdose in this 2019 file photo.
Keith Srakocic
/
Associated Press
Jackson Township (Pa.) Police Chief Terry Seilhamer shows boxes of Narcan, a drug used to treat opioid overdose in this 2019 file photo.

Free online training sessions on recognizing the signs of an overdose and how to administer the Narcan nasal spray drug, which may help prevent an opioid drug overdose death, are being held on Monday, August 31.

The Jacksonville Fire & Rescue Department (JFRD) and Drug Free Duval are offering the course in recognition of International Overdose Awareness Day, which is Monday.

Opioid-related overdose 911 calls were up nearly 40% in the first half of 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019, according to Mark Rowley, JFRD’s assistant chief of Information Services.

On average, Jacksonville firefighters are responding to 15 overdose calls each day.

In Duval County, nearly 1,200 people died from a drug overdose from 2016 to 2018, according to JFRD. More than 80% of these deaths were caused by an opioid.

People can help prevent overdose deaths by learning to recognize the signs of an overdose, calling 911 and administering Narcan nasal spray while waiting for firefighters to arrive.

Narcan is an FDA-approved treatment for a known or suspected opioid overdose. It's a brand name for the naloxone drug, which binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of an overdose, quickly restoring normal breathing to a person who has overdosed.

“Overdose can affect anyone ? our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. They are loved and those we have lost are missed,” said Sally Finn, executive director of Drug Free Duval in an email to WJCT News. “We encourage members of the First Coast community to participate in this valuable training so that you can learn how to save a life.”

Monday’s virtual classes will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Advance registration is required by signing up for one of the two classes at these links:

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.