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NSV Substance Abuse Coalition offering guidance for treating overdoses

28 July 2020 Covid19 Luray/Page County Shenandoah County Front Royal/Warren County Winchester Frederick County Clarke County News


Overdose deaths have spiked in the area and around the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the increased availability of the overdose reversal medication naloxone, or Narcan, more lives are being saved.

However, it sometimes takes more than one dose of the medication to revive a person. Because of this, the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition (NSVSAC) is reminding individuals that “following an overdose, the first call to make is 911, and the right call is to go to the hospital.”

The NSVSAC said in a news release it is important for individuals to call 911 if they are observing or experiencing an overdose. It is also just as important for the overdose victim to receive proper medical attention which may include being transported to the hospital for additional observation. If an individual receives one dose of naloxone and the medication wears off, they could potentially go back into overdose.

Virginia’s “Safe Reporting Law” was amended to provide protection from prosecution for drug possession charges for any individual who in good faith seeks or obtains emergency medical attention if he or she is experiencing an overdose, or for another individual if that individual is experiencing an overdose. The amended law also provides protection from prosecution for drug possession charges for an individual experiencing an overdose if someone calls for medical help. There are additional requirements in the law such as the individual must remain on the scene of the overdose, the individual must identify themselves to law enforcement who respond to the scene, and the evidence is obtained as a result of the call for help.

It is also important following an overdose for individuals to be connected to recovery resources. While at the hospital, individuals can inquire about what resources may be available to them.

“Making the right call following an overdose can save a life. Remember, the first call is to 911, but the right call—to ensure a life is saved—is to go to the hospital.”

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here. 


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