Community organizations teach residents how to reverse an overdose

There were more than 1,600 overdose deaths in Massachusetts last year

TURNER FALLS, Mass (WWLP) – Franklin County residents were trained Wednesday night how to prevent deaths from opioid overdose. The Opioid Task Force and Tapestry Health held an informal training seminar in Turners Falls.

There were more than 1,600 overdose deaths in Massachusetts last year. Tapestry Health and the Opioid Task Force told 22News people overdose because they don’t know what’s in their drugs.

“Fentanyl is an exponentiating substance, so it can make any batch of heroin 50 to 100 times stronger than it would normally be and I think that surprises people. They’re not expecting that,” said Paul McNeil, the Director of the Opioid Task Force for Franklin County and the North Quabbin region.

15 people attended Wednesday’s public training session. Some were EMTS and social workers, and some are friends of addicts; all with one common goal.

“I want to learn all about Narcan and what to do if somebody is indeed overdosing, because I know someone of the women have some addiction challenges,” said Stacey Langknecht of Greenfield.

Narcan is a brand name for the overdose reversal drug “Naloxone.” Tapestry health has distributed more than 2,400 kits in western Massachusetts since last year. They say they’ve saved lives.

Everyone who attended the training was given a free Narcan kit which, they hope, to not have to use.

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