City leaders want volunteers to 'be more than bystanders' and learn to administer Narcan

Posted at 2:03 PM, Feb 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-08 14:03:45-05

CINCINNATI -- City leaders hope to enlist community members in the fight against heroin and opioid addiction.

Wednesday, local government officials, representatives from the Talbert House and Cincinnati public safety officials announced the start of the community heroin program, which will bring Narcan kits to high-risk communities and will teach volunteers how to administer the overdose-reversing drug.

"Our police department, our fire department, the Talbert House...every day they’re doing god’s work. And they need some backup," Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld said. "The backup can be community members. It can be people listening to this interview, or someone who comes to one of these training sessions, who could say 'I now know, I have confidence, I understand what an opioid overdose looks like, and I know how to use Narcan to save someone’s life.'"

City Hall secured about $50,000 in funding for this new initiative, Sittenfeld said. This means that 600 Narcan kits will be distributed to 20 different parts of Cincinnati identified as high-risk for encountering an overdose.

"It's all about enabling each one of us to become more than bystanders in the midst of a crisis," Sittenfeld said. "As I’ve said before, those suffering from addiction are not strangers. They are parents, brothers, sisters and children. And we are not going to ask them to walk alone."

The next five community-based sessions are scheduled; the program will host a total of 20 sessions, Sittenfeld said.

Next five sessions, open to the public:

  • Mt. Washington: Thursday, February 9, 2017 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Mt. Washington Recreation Center
  • Kennedy Heights/Pleasant Ridge: Thursday, February 23, 2017 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Pleasant Ridge Recreation Center
  • Hyde Park/Oakley/Madisonville: Monday, February 27, 2017 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Oakley Recreation Center
  • Over-the-Rhine/West End: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Over-the-Rhine Recreation Center
  • Lower Price Hill: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.,The Sanctuary