Narcan, a life-saving medication formally known as naloxone, is an injectable or inhalant solution that is safe to use even if someone is not overdosing on narcotics | Photo by Pharmacy Images on

The Charleston Police Department (CPD) is hosting eight training sessions over the next few months that will offer life-saving instruction on overdose prevention and the administration of Narcan nasal spray. 

Police say they have responded to 151 overdoses since the start of 2023. Some 34 calls — just over one in five — were thought to be fatalities caused by overdoses, they said. Narcan was administered in 66 cases — 15 times by bystanders, 14 times by law enforcement officers and 37 times by emergency medical service technicians. 

“Charleston Police Department’s Narcan and overdose awareness trainings are an important and critical step to destigmatize conversations surrounding drug use, safety and recovery,” Interim Police Chief Chito Walker told the Charleston City Paper. “Narcan trainings are not only an opportunity to show community members, in just a few minutes, how to administer this life-saving medication but also allow participants the ability to engage in broader conversations about the effect of opioid overdose in Charleston. We are proud to help lead this community effort.” 

Police said the sessions aim to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to recognize an overdose, administer aid and effectively respond to other opioid-related emergencies. Participants will learn to identify the symptoms of an overdose as well as crucial techniques to save a life in the event of an overdose, including proper steps to administer Narcan nasal spray. 

The training sessions are highly recommended for those at risk of an opioid overdose themselves, or to those who have friends or family members who may be at risk. It is also valuable for health care providers, social services providers, law enforcement personnel and emergency response providers. 

Those who successfully complete a training course will receive an overdose prevention kit containing two Narcan nasal sprays. The one-hour training dates, times and locations at libraries across the county are below:

  • July 27, 6 p.m. – Baxter-Patrick James Island Library
  • Aug. 3, 6 p.m. – Bees Ferry West Ashley Library
  • Aug. 10, 6 p.m. – Dorchester Road Library
  • Aug. 17, 6 p.m. – Keith Summey North Charleston Library
  • Aug. 24, 6 p.m. – Hurd/St. Andrews Library
  • Sept. 14, 6 p.m. – Otranto Road Library
  • Sept. 21, 6 p.m. – Downtown Main Library, Calhoun St.
  • Sept. 28, 6 p.m. – St. Paul’s Hollywood Library

Register to attend a free training session here.

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