Community members gather for opioid overdose training

Updated: Nov. 2, 2017 at 10:13 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Dozens of people attended an opioid overdose prevention and Naloxone training Thursday night.

This training was put on by Sonoran Prevention Works.

Among those in attendance was April Hartsuyker, who lost her 23-year-old son from a heroin overdose three years ago.

"It started with the basics, being a rebel teen, drinking, smoking weed and then eventually overdosed on heroin," Hartsuyker said.

Hartsuyker said her son's death might have been prevented if she had the training and knowledge she has now.

"I feel that if i was trained properly, if i had that medication in hand, that it would have saved his life," she said.

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication that works within minutes to block of the effects of opioids.

Anyone can now get Naloxone or administer it.

"It's as simple as drawing up the medication and either injecting it into their arm or leg or nasal spray is just pushing a button and it activates," said Stacey Cope, the overdose prevention coordinator with Sonoran Prevention Works.

This group works to get the life saving tool in the hands of as many people as possible.

"We've distributed over 17,000 kits this year and have had over 1,500 reported reversals so we know getting it out into the community works," Cope said.

If you use Naloxone on someone, you  have criminal and liability protections under state law, in case something goes wrong.

If you administer it on someone and they're not  overdosing, it doesn't harm them in any way.

You can find more information about Naloxone, how to get it and more about Sonoran Prevention Works here:

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