BRANSON WEST, Mo.– The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District is taking a pro-active stance against the opioid crisis in their area. They’re getting trained on Naloxone — the anecdote for opioid overdose.
The goal is to help first responders, as well as social service agencies, learn exactly what Naloxone is, as well as how to administer the opioid anecdote. They’ll also be trained on how to identify someone who has overdosed.
Chris Davis is with the Community Partnership of the Ozarks. He says there is a growing concern in Southern Stone County about the increasing number of young people becoming addicted.
“Stone County youth sixth through 12th grade according to Missouri student survey … over 11 percent of the six through 12 graders in 2016, were misusing prescription drugs. And we know that prescription drug use … 80 percent of heroin users, started with misusing prescription drugs.”
And because the number of those addicted to opioids continues to grow, Davis feels so should the number of those trained to save lives.
“Actually, this is… it’s an important training for anyone who is at risk of witnessing or experiencing an overdose themselves,” Davis added. “So family members, persons in recovery, persons with addictions. they really need this training.”
The Fire Department isn’t alone in this training. Other agencies in Southern Stone County are stepping up to the plate in case they too are faced with an opioid emergency.
“Just like CPR, we wanna be prepared for the best way that we know how to revive them.. if we can,” says Shyra Bilyeu, a supervisor at Stone County OACAC, who took part in the training.
She says they have no way of knowing who’s going to walk through their doors, or what the need is going to be.
“We have had combative clients. We have had uhm..ones that we know are using and they come seeking gas money or you know stuff like that. So we have to be on guard pretty much every day. Cause we never know. Every situation is different.”
Davis says eventually, they will offer Naloxone training to the public.