CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — As the opioid epidemic continues to grow, it takes more than first responders to fight overdoses.
Thanks to a state grant, the Cheatham County Enhancement Coalition is training and distributing NARCAN in eight counties.
“I train and disperse the NARCAN to whomever wants it and wants to be certified,” Candis Batey told News 2.
Batey holds a number of public training courses through the Cheatham County Enhancement Coalition. She says the goal is “to reach as many as we can in Tennessee and to get our overdose death rates down.”
Batey travels to eight counties in their region teaching first responders like firefighters and police officers, but also any concerned citizens. She says sometimes it’s those whose loved ones have been affected by opioids or sometimes they are users.
“We hear a lot of stories of people that come to the trainings of people that have actually been revived with NARCAN,” Batey explained.
She says sometimes no one comes for the free training, while other times there have been up to 65 people at them. They all want to be equipped to save a life.
“I have clients that die all the time, all the time” participant Angela Easterling told News 2.
She came to the free training for her second time, just to learn more.
“I always want to use education first. You know I hate to even think that I would have to use NARCAN, but it’s there if I need it,” said Easterling.
Both women have had to use their training to administer NARCAN.
“I definitely feel like we are saving lives. There’s been so many families that have had to bury their loved ones die to opioids addiction and overdose and we are just hoping that the NARCAN, we get out enough NARCAN in the communities to help to make a difference, to keep people alive because there is nobody that can get into recovery if they are 7 foot under. Please, please get trained on it,” pleaded Batey.
The course takes about 45 minutes and at the end of is participants receive an opioid overdose prevention kit that includes information on how to get help and NARCAN nasal spray.
Batey says they odder the training in six counties in their region but hope to eventually offer it in all right.
There are a number of free distributions coming up, for more information click here.