New Haven to give free kits, training for International Overdose Awareness Day

(Photo: WTNH)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– A developing story as Connecticut deals with a drug epidemic. Fifteen people in New Haven overdosed in just one day back in June.

Some free training in how to reverse overdoses as part of International Overdose Awareness Day.

Here in Connecticut, we lose hundreds lives a year to drug overdoses.

These days, the big threat is opioids, those are drugs derived from opium. It includes heroin, but prescription painkillers like fentanyl have become more popular recently, and more dangerous because they’re so much more powerful.

It was a batch of heroin mixed with fentanyl that killed five people and put 10 more in the hospital in New Haven in June. The city declared a health emergency when that happened.

Fentanyl alone was responsible for 188 deaths in Connecticut last year, and expected to do much more damage this year. Once someone has overdosed, there is one thing that usually works well to bring them back. It’s a drug called naloxone, marketed under the brand name Narcan.

It’s a nasal spray, not hard to use. Folks here at the library will show you how to use it, and give you a free kit, just like the one firefighters carry. If you can’t make it Wednesday, the state health department offers Narcan kits for free through a program called OPEN Access CT.

The event at the New Haven Library is from 1-4 Wednesday afternoon in the lower-level conference room. You get there from the side of the building.

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