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BCHD to host Narcan training events for National Overdose Awareness Day

A Narcan nasal device used to administer naloxone.
Mary Altaffer
A Narcan nasal device used to administer naloxone.

The Berrien County Health Department is looking to educate the community about opioid use and help prevent opioid overdoses.

Aug. 31 is National Overdose Awareness Day, and in honor of the occasion, the health department will host free Narcan training workshops.

Narcan is the brand name of naloxone, an over-the-counter medication that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.

The health department will hold two training events later this month:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2149 E. Napier Ave., Benton Harbor
  • Wednesday, Aug. 31, National Overdose Awareness Day event, 1205 N. Front St., Niles. 

Both sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to noon and again from 1 to 4 p.m.
The 15-minute sessions will cover the signs and symptoms of an overdose:

  • Small, constricted pinpoint pupils
  • Falling asleep or losing consciousness
  • Slow, weak or no breathing
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Limp body
  • Cold, clammy or discolored skin

And the CDC’s five steps to follow if you think someone is overdosing:

  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Administer Narcan or its generic, naloxone.
  • Try to keep the person awake and breathing.
  • Lay the person on their side to prevent choking.
  • Stay until emergency assistance arrives.

The first 50 participants each day will receive a free rescue kit containing Narcan nasal spray.
Pre-registration is required, but the sessions are free to attend.

Contact Gemma at or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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Gemma DiCarlo comes to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.