Narcan nasal spray handed out at overdose prevention program

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The opioid epidemic is far from over.

Prevention efforts continued Monday in Adams County, with the first of several opioid presentations slated for this month taking place at the Adams County Health Department.

“I knew very little and never had heard of Narcan prior to my sons death,” said Sue Tisdale with the Drug Overdose Prevention Program.

It was a long road for Richard Long Junior, who battled addiction to prescription pain medication for 12 years and ultimately lost his fight with addiction on February 8, 2015 at the age of 28.

Now, Richard’s mom, Sue Tisdale, has committed her life to spread awareness of the dilemma that is sweeping the country.

“Initiating the conversation is really important,” said Tisdale. “A lot of people don’t want to talk about this. There’s still a lot of shame, stigma and stereotypes that associated with opioid use disorder.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of 30 overdoses are fatal and 192 people die from an opioid related overdose every single day.

Tisdale thinks a lot of those overdose deaths can be prevented, but it’s going to take some work on behalf of the community.

“We’re talking about rural areas that have limited resources,” said Tisdale. “The nearest treatment to my town, even for counseling, is 30 miles one way.”

To learn what an opioid overdose looks like and what Narcan is, is why presentations like the one Monday night is so important.

“A lot of people just want to be educated. A lot of people just want to help out and serve others and be useful in their community,” said Katie McConnell with the Adams County Health Department.

Tisdale says she doesn’t want another family to go through what she went through with the loss of her son.

“After I lost my son, I came to terms with the fact that I’m not going to be able to save everybody or help everybody but if we can help one person, then it’s all worth the while,” said Tisdale.

You can get Narcan nasal spray over-the-counter in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois. It’ll cost you around $100.

Tisdale will host another free opioid presentation Tuesday morning at the United Way of Adams County at 10:00. Tisdale will also be back at the Adams County Health Department on March 13. You can contact the health department to sign up.

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RESOURCES:

IDPH: Opioid Data Dashboard for Illinois

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Opioid Summaries by State

Kaylee Pfeiferling

Kaylee Pfeiferling

Multimedia Journalist

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