SaferCare Texas to host Narcan Lifesaving Training Event

One pill kills graphicSaferCare Texas is continuing its mission of eliminating preventable harm by offering free training on how to use Narcan, a medication used to reverse or reduce the effects of opioids.

From 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, HSC’s patient safety-focused program will host the Narcan Lifesaving Training Event on campus at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. It will take place in the Medical and Education Training building and is open to the public.

The training was created to support Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s statewide “One Pill Kills” campaign, aimed at combating the fentanyl crisis.

“With the increase of opioid deaths across the state and country, we want to provide this education so that people will know how to use Narcan and hopefully save lives,” said Dr. Teresa Wagner, interim director of SaferCare Texas.

Why Narcan training is so urgent

Many opioid overdoses occur in people unaware that they have ingested fentanyl. In many cases, not even first responders immediately know when a person is overdosing on the deadly narcotic.

“Some of the addiction or ingestion is accidental, so you don’t know if someone will need it and you will be at the right place and right time to save someone’s life,” Wagner said.

More than 100,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fentanyl, the potent synthetic opioid, has quickly become the leading cause. Two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage. DEA analysis has found counterfeit pills ranging from 0.02 to 5.1 mg (more than twice the lethal dose) of fentanyl per tablet.

The supply of Narcan at the training will be provided by The Texas Targeted Opioid Response project, a grant through The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio  School of Nursing. Due to the increase in demand, the School of Nursing has had to limit its order requests.

Wagner hopes that the FDA’s recent announcement to offer Narcan as an over-the-counter medication will change the amount of lifesaving medicine available to the community.

“In February 2020, we were able to get a larger supply to distribute to our students, but now they have to limit the amount they are distributing because of the increased need,” Wagner said.

“Hopefully the FDA ruling will increase the supply that is available, and shortages won’t be an issue.”

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