NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A court will soon carry Narcan, a medication used to block the effects of opioids, becoming the first in the state to do so.
Employees with the Davidson County Juvenile Court underwent training on how to administer Narcan nasal spray Thursday.
“We know that we have to be prepared and that it could happen at any moment,” court administrator Kathryn Sinback explained.
Sinback was among those being trained to use it.
“We have seen many, many families come through our court who are struggling with opioid addiction and we’ve actually had a situation where a woman was very close to overdose in the court and we had to call 911 and so we wanted to make sure that in the case of any suspected overdose situations in our court that our staff are prepared to save lives,” she said.
Around 30 employees of the juvenile court attended the two hour course led by a regional overdose prevention specialist, that included advice from the Nashville Fire Department.
“There is a significant rise in opioid overdoses and we deal with it almost daily within the Nashville Fire Department. If someone is not breathing we know we have four minutes before they have irreversible brain damage, so time is of an essence and that is why these programs are critical. It’s so important they have this drug in their hand so that they can administer it to the right person,” District Chief Fred Smith told News 2.
Lisa Bell who led the course said using Narcan is easy.
“This is as simple as putting the plunger up their nose and just spraying and waiting for them to revive,” she explained.
More than 1,600 people died from a drug overdose in Tennessee last year, a number medical professionals say would be much higher if not for Narcan.
The court system is still working out fine details like about how many doses will be on hand, but employees hope they will now be able to offer support to those who need it.
“We want to have plenty so that if this incident should occur we can get to the Narcan quickly, because we know that we only have four minutes to save the person’s life in these situations,” said Sinback.
Employees will have a bi-annual training on Narcan. They are receiving the supply and training course thanks to a state grant.
The Davidson County Juvenile Court hopes other agencies will jump on board and start carrying Narcan as well.