Did you know that there were 106 opioid involved overdose deaths in Dutchess County in 2022? Some of these deaths could have been avoided with the use of a medicine called Naloxone, commonly referred to by the brand name, Narcan. Seniors in the Career and Technical Institute’s (CTI) security and law class are prepared to aid someone who is experiencing an opioid overdose after completing Narcan training from Dutchess County’s Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) this week, the first training of this kind for CTI students. 
The training started with students sharing their current knowledge of the issue, followed by an overview of the opioid epidemic from Public Health Education Coordinator Lori Levine. Levine then spoke about how to recognize the signs of an overdose, what the risk factors are, when and how to ‘reverse’ an overdose using Narcan, and more. Students learned the basics of how the medicine works in the brain and that there are no known side effects of using Naloxone. At the completion of the training, students received a kit including their certification card, which is valid for two years.
Kiara Lopez shared that she was surprised by how simple the process is to administer Narcan. “I’m really glad they taught us this skill because you never know when you might need it. It could literally save a life,” she said.

“I like to get the students as many certifications as I can,” shared security and law teacher Frank Kolarik. The students previously earned their CPR and first aid certification and New York State security guard training. “As we heard in the presentation, opioid overdoses are very prevalent. I think it’s important for them to have the certification.” The Narcan training will also count towards the students’ required 54 work based learning hours over their two years at BOCES. Kolarik shared he was grateful to special education teacher Erin Scott for setting up the event.
“Going into law enforcement or any type of first responder position, it’s good to have this training,” shared Patrick Sample. Sample is a volunteer firefighter in Hughsonville, and has responded to multiple overdose calls. “It can happen anywhere. I’ve seen it in homes, shopping centers, cars.” He said the training is valuable for everyone. “Having more people know how to use it can help save more lives. It can take time for help to get to the scene. If there are people around that have it, they can administer it while we get there.”

The DBCH offers monthly virtual trainings for members of the public, who receive a free kit once they are certified. For more information, visit the DBCH Prevention and Training page. 

Looking ahead, security and law students will have another work based learning opportunity in May when the class visits Green Haven Prison for the Youth Assistance Program.