Here’s where you can learn how to be a lay rescuer as far as opioid overdoses are concerned

VIRGINIA BEACH —  A free training course for families and friends of those at risk for an opioid overdose, or individuals interested in becoming lay rescuers, is scheduled for the following dates in 2018:

  • June 19
  • July 17
  • Aug. 21
  • Sept. 18
  • Oct. 16

Presented by the Virginia Beach Human Services Department, Virginia Beach Police Department, Department of Public Health and Emergency Medical Services in Virginia Beach “REVIVE!” trains individuals to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency with the administration of naloxone, a prescription medication, according to a news release from the city’s Human Services Department.

All classes will be at the EMS Training Center, 4160 Virginia Beach Blvd. from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Space is limited and registration is mandatory. To register, call 757-385-0800.

“The REVIVE! Classes have been a success,” Human Services Director Dannette R. Smith said. “Participants are extremely engaged throughout the session, asking questions and are active with the hands-on training related to rescue breathing and Naloxone administration. We will continue to provide this resource as long as there is a demand in the community.”

Virginia has been severely affected by opioid abuse, particularly the abuse of prescription drugs, according to the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Emergency department visits for heroin overdose for January-September 2016 increased 89 percent, compared to the same nine-month period in 2015. In the first half of 2016, the total number of fatal drug overdoses in Virginia increased 35 percent, when compared to the same time period in 2015, and in 2013, fatal drug overdoses became the number one cause of unnatural death.

Learn more about Human Services here.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.