HELENA — The Leo Pocha Memorial Clinic in Helena has opened a Narcan training clinic to the public, providing tips on how to administer a potentially life-saving drug.
“We've been doing it here actually for many years, and it's really come to a head in the last few weeks with so many overdoses in Helena, I think they've probably been dozens at this point,” said clinic medial director Jennifer Brunsdon.
The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office, the Helena Police Department, and St. Peters Health recently reported an alarming spike of opioid overdoses in the area.
Brunsdon says offering training to the community was important.
“We just saw the need that we needed to do some Narcan training for users, friends and families of users and anyone who sees a need for Narcan training,” said Brunsdon.
Narcan reverses the effects of an opioid overdose and helps restore breathing.
“So basically it blocks the receptors that will cause an overdose and an overdose typically becomes critical when someone's respiratory decreases, which means they stop breathing,” said Brunsdon.
However, Narcan is not a cure and people who overdose still need medical treatment after Narcan is administered.
“You're always going to call 911 with an overdose, but if you have Narcan available and you have someone that you think of as overdose, you can save their life,” said Brunsdon.
The Leo Pocha Memorial Clinic has another training scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 2 from 12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Every attendee walks away with free Narcan.