Throughout Maryland the opioid epidemic continues to claim lives, and locally 30 lives have been claimed in Wicomico County since September 2018. In an effort to address the local opioid epidemic, County Executive Bob Culver has encouraged all full-time Wicomico County employees to be trained on administering naloxone (brand name Narcan®), which is a medication that reverses opioid overdoses. “By encouraging county employees to attend a naloxone training, we are ensuring more individuals will be prepared and equipped to save a life should they witness and overdose situation”, says Culver.
Since the start of the Opioid Response Program in 2015, nearly 3,300 Wicomico County residents have been trained to administer naloxone; roughly 1,000 residents were trained during Fiscal Year 2018 (July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018) and 781 more since July 2018. The Wicomico County Opioid Coordinator, Christina Bowie-Simpson, continues to provide free naloxone trainings to the public as well as Wicomico County employees. Individuals who attend naloxone classes are not only taught how to administer the life-saving medication, but they are also provided with a naloxone kit for their personal use should they encounter an opioid overdose in the community. The training also provides additional information about the Good Samaritan Law, which provides protection from arrest for certain crimes if the individual calls 911 in an overdose emergency situation.
Naloxone trainings are held every second Tuesday of each month at the Wicomico County Public Library in Downtown Salisbury from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the lower level meeting rooms. In addition to these trainings, community members can contact the Wicomico County Health Department to schedule a free training at their agency or business. For more information or to schedule naloxone training, contact Christina Bowie-Simpson at (410) 219-3956.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, you can find help at BeforeItsTooLateMD.org or by calling 211 and pressing 1 or contacting the Community Outreach Addictions Team (COAT) at 443-783-6875. For more information on the community efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, contact the Wicomico County Health Department at 410-219-3956, visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @WicomicoHealth.