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Home » Uncategorized » Coalition hosts virtual Narcan training for Overdose Awareness Day

Coalition hosts virtual Narcan training for Overdose Awareness Day


Thursday, August 27, 2020; Silver City, NM: The Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (YSAPC) will host a virtual training on the use of Narcan, a powerful opioid overdose reversal drug, on International Overdose Awareness Day on Monday, Aug. 31 from 2 to 4 p.m. via Zoom. The training is free and open to the public.

YSAPC program specialist, Corina Castillo said, “It’s important that the community understand what NARCAN is and how to properly use it. It’s a needed tool for the community, and we’ve seen many of our great law enforcement officers use it to save lives.”

From 2013-2017, Grant County had an overdose death rate of 41.5 per 100,000 population, nearly double New Mexico’s rate of 24.6.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, the state’s drug overdose death rate has been one of the highest in the nation for most of the last two decades. New Mexico’s death rate has more than tripled since 1990.

While deaths due to illicit drugs have remained steady during the past decade, deaths due to prescription drugs – particularly opioid pain relievers – have increased dramatically.

In addition to the high death rates, drug abuse is one of the costliest health problems in the nation. In 2007, it was estimated that prescription opioid abuse, dependence and misuse cost New Mexico $890 million.

In Grant County, unintentional injuries – the category drug overdoses deaths fall under – is the third leading cause of death, behind caner and heart disease.

To save lives the Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H, directed, in 2018, that all patients, health care practitioners, family and friends of people with an opioid prescription carry NARCAN – or the generic drug Naloxone – to assure accidental overdoses don’t end in death.

New Mexico went one-step further, leading the nation last year by mandating that any opioid prescription – that last five days or more – be co-prescribed an opioid overdose-reversal medication to keep patients safe from accidental overdoses.

Furthermore, New Mexico was the first state to enact the Good Samaritan Law, which since has been adopted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The law protects people who seek help for anyone who is experiencing a drug overdose when calling 911 or seeking medical aid. This law protects the victim and caller from prosecution and applies to all forms of medical assistance for overdose including opioids, heroine and, even, alcohol.

The virtual Narcan training will be led by Bernie Lieving, the statewide overdose prevention education coordinator for the Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP), which funds YSAPC’s efforts in Grant County. Participants will also receive Narcan via mail after competing the training.

The training is free, but you must register to receive the Zoom meeting link to participate.

The YSAPC is composed of service providers and invested community members dedicated to creating an environment that cultivates healthy productive lifestyles through policy and advocacy change that promotes resilient and empowered youth. YSAPC is program of the Center for Health Innovation, New Mexico’s Public Health Institute.

To register for the NARCAN training contact Castillo at (575) 597-0025 or email

This news release is made available by the Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Grant County, a program of the Center for Health Innovation, New Mexico’s designated Public Health Institute, and funded by the New Mexico Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP).