County-Wide Narcan Training for First Responders a Success

Rescue 180, Jefferson County’s Substance Abuse Coalition, and White Pine Police Chief Chad Cotter hosted a training by the Department of Mental Health, the Division of Substance Abuse Services last week.

“We are teaming up with Rescue 180 and the rest of the law enforcement agencies to provide Narcan for every police car in the county. This will provide us with another tool we can add to our bag to save lives in Jefferson County,” shared Chief Chad Cotter of the White Pine Police Department.

“We have been working on this project for a few months now and have formed a Narcan task Force for those in Rescue 180 who wanted to help promote our need for this life saving drug in our community, states Rev. Debra Shultz Executive Director of Rescue 180 We are so grateful that this opportunity has been provided for our county.”

Registered Nurse, John Warfield, who was the trainer for the class, praised Jefferson County law enforcement’s eagerness to participate.

“The eagerness of the Jefferson County Law Enforcement officers to learn and understand why and when to use Narcan was quite noticeable. I could really tell that they all care very deeply for their county and the people who reside there.Their questions reflected an abstract thought process of the topic, which far surpassed any level of basic knowledge. It was great seeing that they had obviously done their homework on the opioid epidemic in Tennessee.”

The Centers for Disease Control reports, more Americans died of overdoses—usually involving opioids—last year than died in the Vietnam War.
TBI agent Tommy Farmer stated in recent state training, “ Tennessee is the number 2 state for opioid use.”

Keith Shultz, Assistant Director of Rescue 180, recently attended this training about Drug Endangered Children, in which Farmer taught about current drug use trends in Tennessee. According to Shultz, he learned more about the dangers of Fentanyl, and an even more potent opioid variety, Carfentanil.

“Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than Morphine, but even worse, Carfentanil is 100 times stronger than Fentanyl,” stated Shultz. “As Tommy Farmer has stated in this week’s public alerts, cocaine laced with Fentanyl has been found in 3 instances in the state recently. Carfentanil may not be far behind.”

“Last year, overdoses killed more than 21,000 people nationwide,” explains Debra . “Even though Rescue 180 focuses on primary prevention and Narcan is secondary, it is where we are in our society. So we are working to fill the gap where it is needed in order to save lives.”

“It’s not just drug-users whose lives Narcan (naloxone, an opioid-antagonizer) can save,” said Kevin Poe, who participated in the training on behalf of the Public Defender’s Office.

Source: Reverend Debra Shultz, Rescue 180

Jefferson Farmers Co-op 08112014