NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Metro Health Department just released overdose statistics that are sobering.
It shows that deaths and hospital visits associated with opioid addiction are up dramatically over this time last year.
To battle the opioid crisis in America, many agencies are now going on the offensive, handing out life-saving Narcan to anyone who wants it.
Candis Batey is the regional overdose prevention specialist for the community enhancement coalition.
“Narcan is the overdose reversal drug,” she says while handing out free samples of Narcan Thursday.
“That is exactly what my training is for, for your every day person. Your neighbor, the person sitting next to you in church, anyone can overdose.”
Batey travels the state handing out Narcan to everyday citizens. She trains people to save lives, even strangers.
Candis says, “There’s not anyone that you don’t meet on a daily basis who has not been affected by opioid addiction”
Thursday Batey was in Cheatham County where she gave away six opioid overdose reversal kits as of noon.
Candis says the Narcan is paid for with grant money.
“The nation has an opioid epidemic. In order to save lives, we must use Narcan. We lost 72,000 people to addiction last year in America.”
The overdose prevention specialists at the community enhancement coalition tell News 2 that since October 2017, they’ve saved 7,500 lives. Organizers say they’ve disseminated 70,000 units of Narcan.
This Saturday is national drug buyback day.