RHHD expanding naloxone training in resource centers

Alante Cannon: “Our goal is for every household, or every place, to be able to have it.”
Through naloxone training, healthcare workers hope people in the community can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and save lives.
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 3:54 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Inside the Mosby Resource Center off Coalter Street, Alante Cannon is showing others how to use naloxone to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and save lives.

“We go step by step with them. We open it up. We show them how to use it, we show them what to look for, how to check for the client, the responses,” said Cannon, a certified community health worker with the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts.

This is all part of a recent announcement from the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts about their efforts to expand access to naloxone and naloxone training to those who live near resource centers as part of the REVIVE! Lay Rescuers Training of Trainers program.

Cannon said anyone can walk into the resource center between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and learn about the signs of an opioid overdose and how to administer naloxone to stop it.

“The way we’re expanding it is we try to do outreach events, and we also try to offer it when we go to other events,” said Cannon.

Naloxone, the generic name for Narcan, blocks or reverses the effects of opioids, including extreme drowsiness and slowed breathing. On March 29, the FDA approved the over-the-counter sale of Narcan in the U.S.

Between Jan. 1 and June 30, RHHD hosted 158 naloxone distribution events, dispensed 553 units of the life-saving drug and trained 211 residents on how to administer it.

“Our goal is for every household, or every place, to be able to have it,” said Cannon. “It’s important to bring it to the neighborhoods that’s dealing with it 24/7 because you never know when someone needs it or when they can use it and we notice it will help stop a lot of deaths.”

For those who can’t attend an in-person training session, Cannon said there’s also a virtual option through Zoom held on Tuesday and Thursday.

“We can reach people in different areas, different states, you can have multiple classes going on so that way, it’s more available for everyone to be able to reach it,” said Cannon.

With this training, Cannon hopes more lives will be saved.

“If we can, every single person will be able to walk around and have it with them so they can help,” she said.

Cannon also said during these trainings, people will be given fentanyl testing strips.

Residents interested in a Zoom session can register for the 40-minute training sessions on Tuesdays from 6-7 p.m. and Thursdays from 1-2 p.m. through this link.

Residents can also call ahead to arrange for free, contactless naloxone dispensing from RHHD Resource Centers from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Monday through Friday while supplies last. You can find more details about this here.