Opioid abuse continues to make its way throughout community in the United States, including Kansas. While state agencies continue to find ways to fight the problem, the American Red Cross wants to educate the public about opioids.
The organization released First Aid for Opioid Overdoses, an online course to teach people how to respond to a known or suspected opioid overdose.
The 45-minute course has three different sections:
- First response
- Providing care
- Putting it all together
According to health officials, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States — with opioids being the contributing factor.
Red Cross officials said they hope the course will teach the public how to help save a life.
“I think overall training on just what to do if you come upon someone that is in cardiac arrest, how to perform CPR and AED, is always important,” said Shannon Wedge, from the American Red Cross. “Because of the opioid overdose, they do go into cardiac arrest so to have all of that knowledge is going to help everyone in Kansas.”
The course states “You are the help until help arrives.”
Sedgwick County EMS Capt. Cole Mitchell said the public can do simple things to help monitor someone who just oversosed.
However, the most important thing to do is call 911.
According to Capt. Mitchell, not getting help is the biggest killer when it comes to opioid-related deaths.
“People being in fear that they’re going to get in trouble. People in fear that the person they’re calling for is going to get in trouble. Don’t fear that,” Capt. Mitchell said. “Call 911 — much rather you call 911 and save someone’s life than that fear of getting in trouble.”
The online course costs $25 to register. The Red Cross is offering a 50% discount on the course by using coupon code KSHY020619. Registration can be done on the Red Cross website.
In addition to that, ADAPT Pharma, the maker of Narcan Nasal Spray is offering free doses of the medicine to all public library, YMCAs, high school, and Title IV, degree granting 2 and 4-year institutions.