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City News

Posted on: May 1, 2020

Public Health Division to Provide Virtual Trainings in May

portland news

With National Drug Take Back Day Postponed, the City of Portland Public Health Division is providing educational materials and virtual Narcan (naloxone) trainings throughout the month of May.

Beginning next week, the Substance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction Services Program (SUPHRS) of the City of Portland’s Public Health Division will be offering virtual support for the community in response to the postponement of National Drug Take Back Day.

National Drug Take Back Day, an important community event aimed at reducing access to unwanted, unused, or expired prescription medications, has been postponed due to COVID-19. Alternatively, SUPHRS will be circulating educational materials, via social media and email, to community members about safe storage and disposal of medications. 

There will be a series of educational trainings, free and open to the public, that are designed as a low-barrier and accessible opportunity for community members who want to learn about risk factors for an opioid overdose, as well as how to recognize and respond by administering naloxone. SUPHRS will be providing these trainings virtually and will be shipping Narcan nasal spray kits to attendees who want to access the life-saving medication used to reverse opioid overdoses. Narcan will be made available at no cost to attendees.

In 2018, 354 people died of accidental opioid overdose in Maine. Early projections show that number rising for 2019, although final numbers are not yet available. The Public Health Division is committed to supporting the community through education and widespread distribution of Narcan, with the goal of reducing that number drastically. Carrying Narcan and learning the skills to appropriately respond to a possible opioid overdose is a pragmatic and effective way to keep the community safe.

WHAT:  Overdose Response Trainings, Naloxone Distribution, and educational materials for community members
WHERE:  Virtual
WHEN:  Every Monday in May at 12 PM and 5 PM.
CONTACT:  Zoe Brokos, Program Coordinator of Substance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction Services at (207) 749-1062 or zop@portlandmaine.gov to RSVP and receive the training link. 

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