MUNCIE – It's been almost a year since U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams issued an advisory urging more Americans to keep naloxone readily available. Also referred to as the brand name, Narcan, the medication reverses an opioid overdose and can save lives by doing so.

Delaware County emergency personnel are no strangers to the havoc opioids wreak, nor are they strangers in having to administer the antidote. In the past three years, county EMS has given more than 1,400 doses of Narcan.

But by no fault of their own, first responders can only make it to a place of an overdose so quickly, depending on when – and if – they’re called.

Indiana Recovery Alliance ran a naloxone training open to the public Wednesday at Bridges Community Services, during which it was evident that community members wanted to help. The small room holding the event filled quickly. More than 30 nonprofit representatives and Muncie residents of all ages and professions gathered, prompting staff to grab extra chairs.

Overall, IRA distributed about 130 kits, or 390 doses of naloxone, to the group.

Call the attendance a sign of local intrigue, or a sign that Muncie needs the antidote – or both. Either way, the medication has our attention. So how can it help our community that's struggling with overdoses, and how effective has it been so far?

'Better safe than sorry'

During Wednesday's presentation, one of speaker Jes Cochran's biggest focuses was addressing the stigma associated with overdoses, and how it might make someone avoid calling emergency services or even tell close friends he or she is using. 

Cochran said Indiana residents are five times more likely to die of an overdose than die of a car accident.

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