Opioid reversal training scheduled for April 11

 Dr. Lachelle Norris, Tennessee Tech sociology professor, sits in her office at Tennessee Tech.
Photo by Kaylee Selby


A Tech professor and the Smith County Drug Prevention Coalition is scheduled to present an opioid reversal training during dead hour this Thursday in in Bell Hall room 232.  The training session will be free to all students and faculty.

“Sadly, the chance that you will need to administer an opioid overdose reversal drug is great.  We believe that training on how to spot an opioid overdose and the correct way to administer the drug (both covered in the training) is essential today and just might save the life of someone you know,” said Dr. Lachelle Norris, Tech sociology professor.

Tommy and Suzanne Angel from the Smith County Drug Prevention Coalition will conduct the training, Norris said.

Participants will receive a certificate and two doses of Narcan when the training is completed.

According to the Smith County Drug Prevention Coalition’s website, Narcan, also known as Naloxone, can reverse an overdose from heroin or opioids by restoring normal respiration when breathing has slowed or stopped. Narcan is administered as a nasal spray so anyone can be trained to use it, the website states.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were 1,269 deaths from overdoses in Tennessee in 2017.  That is 19.3 deaths per every 100,000 people, which is higher than the average 14.6 per 100,000 people.  “The greatest increase in opioid deaths was seen in cases involving synthetic opioids (mainly fentanyl): a rise from 77 deaths in 2012 to 590 in 2017,” the NIDA research states.

 “During this short amount of time (30 minutes to an hour) the overdose victim is restored back to a breathing, responsive state and is allowed the time that they need to get to a doctor’s office or hospital to receive long-term care that they need to save their life,” the website states.

Nathan Payne, co-founder of Addiction and Recovery Awareness at Tech, will attend the training.  Payne said last year’s training was standing room only.

Payne is a Lifeline representative and has 14 counties in the state of Tennessee.  Lifeline was created by retired commissioner Doug Varney with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to change the way people look at addiction in the community. Payne said each representative finds what their community needs most, and his focus area is college campuses because the addiction epidemic has significantly affected college age people.

Payne said it is important to remember that Narcan is not a miracle but a second chance.