The Baltimore County Health Department is offering a free two-hour course this summer to train people how to recognize, prevent and respond to an opioid overdose. Anyone with a friend or loved one at risk of overdosing on heroin or prescription pain medication is encouraged to attend, the department said.
Overdose deaths are increasing in Maryland, with heroin deaths in particular jumping 88 percent since 2011, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Gov. Martin O'Malley created a task force in June to combat the problem of opioid overdoses—which can occur from prescription narcotics as well as illegal drugs. In an executive order, O'Malley called for agencies across the state to create plans for distributing naloxone.
Intra-nasal naloxone is a prescription medication that is administered to reverse an overdose, according to the Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services. Spraying it into the nose of a person who has overdosed blocks the effects of opioids, the National Institutes of Health reports.
Those who attend the department's two-hour course this August will learn how to use the medication and will be given a prescription for naloxone, which is nonaddictive and cannot be used to get high, the department said.
The course will be at Drumcastle Government Center at 6401 York Road in Towson from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 19.
Register online or call 410-887-3828 to sign up for the course. Due to limited seating, pre-registration required.
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