Harm reduction advocate speaks about Narcan

Alastair Huntley and the sample cases of Narcan that he distributed to club members. Photo by Melanie Gulde.

The impact of drug addiction and its related overdose problem were the subject of a recent Ludlow Rotary Club meeting.

Alastair Huntley, AmeriCorps alumnus and a harm-reduction advocate, spoke to the members about the purpose of Narcan, technically known as naloxone, a drug that is used to restore breathing to an overdosed person.

Huntley was introduced by Melanie Gulde, an LRC member and program director of Divided Sky, an alcohol and drug recovery program located in Ludlow. He addressed the key questions of how to identify someone suffering from an overdose and how to prepare the person for Narcan, stressing the importance of making quick contact with 9-1-1.

Huntley noted that there are a variety of overdose signs, with the most important being the inability to breathe. This will result in a lack of blood being pumped through the body. One way to identify this quickly is by the presence of blue  fingernails.

Narcan is simple to administer. It is contained in a small pump that is pressed into the nostrils of the victim. Immediately after administering Narcan, the victim should be rolled onto his/her side to help breathing return to normal and be kept in this position until a medical emergency crew arrives.

Narcan is available from many health and drug avoidance programs. Huntley distributed Narcan kits to the LRC members. Information is available by calling a national help line at 1-800-662-4357 or by visiting the Vermont Health website.

During the meeting, Gulde was presented with the Paul Harris Fellow Award for her service to Rotary and efforts related to addiction problems and recovery.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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