Substance Abuse Discussion Continues — Berwyn Fire Company EMS Captain weighs in

Substance abuseContinuing the substance abuse discussion, Berwyn Fire Company EMS Capt. Michael Baskin provides background about Narcan and its use in heroin overdose situations. Important contact information is provided at the end of his remarks.

As a resident, it is reassuring to know that the local fire company and police department personnel are trained and equipped to handle drug abuse situations.  Discussions about drugs and their consequences are extremely important — perhaps a community forum with the school administration, police department, fire company, parents and residents.

Pattye,
Thank you for bringing some of these concepts to the forefront of your community readers.

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication used in opioid overdoses to counteract life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system. If administered early enough, an overdose victim will begin to get a respiratory drive back, and shortly after become alert and aware. Naloxone only works if a person has opioids in their system; the medication has no effect if opioids are absent. There are many drugs that people overdose on that Narcan has no effect on. It is a temporary drug that wears off in 20-90 minutes and therefore anyone who received this drug needs to get to advanced care as the effects of the opioid may return after Narcan wears off.

As was noted, Tredyffrin police have been carrying Narcan for a little while now and have already administered it successfully. Berwyn, Radnor and Malvern fire company paramedics (the 3 primary paramedic providers to T/E) and other services have had Narcan as Advanced Life Support (ALS) providers for decades. As of July 1st, 2015 the Department of Health has allowed for Basic Life Support (BLS) to have access to Narcan in addition to the ALS. Departments across the Commonwealth are going through training now.

From a community approach perspective, the T/E community is well covered with Narcan access in an emergency. In extreme situations, providing rescue breathing and/or CPR to an overdose victim who is not breathing will provide needed oxygen prior to emergency services arriving. The ideal community focus needs to be preventing the need to ever use Narcan. Community, family and professional help should be available to anyone who needs it. Accepting that our community is not immune to these problems is a very big start.

Community education of drug, alcohol, mental illness and suicide prevention is a tremendous help. Acceptance of those who have these problems as a community is what leads us to success. By isolating, hiding, alienating or ignoring people who need guidance, we hurt rather then help this goal.

Here are some useful local numbers:
The Chester County Drug & Alcohol Hotline: 610-344-6620.
Crisis Counseling: 610-280-3270
Chester County Suicide Prevention: 610-344-6265

These numbers are just as much for someone searching for help personally as they are for someone concerned about another.

Respectfully,
Michael S Baskin
EMS Captain, Berwyn Fire Co

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  1. I attended the Policy Committee Meeting last night at 7:00 at the TEAO on West Valley Rd. next to the SE mail drop off center.

    It’s my first Policy meeting in a while, I’m just ramping up so don’t want to comment too much on the meat of issues discussed on the agenda because I don’t know enough about the issues yet to comment.

    Kate Murphy is chair. Kate did a great job and runs an excellent meeting. She’s smart, organized, hard working, dedicated and she’s fun. Not many people are all of those things.

    I’m so glad and grateful that a parent brought up the topic of the vaping epidemic in every school district around here and throughout the country. It’s a huge problem. The CEO of JUUL has come out and directed people not to use his product. Stunning and unprecedented. I’ve never heard of A CEO releasing a statement telling the public not to use his multi billion dollar product. That’s how bad it is. Kids ruining their lungs, rushed to ER’s requiring lung transplants at worst and not able to breath at best. The school is addressing this by providing educational information in health classes and in detention time in the event a student gets detention for breaking the no vape rule in school.

    IMO, parents also must take responsibility by addressing this issue at home.

    [Reply]

  2. Thanks to the TESD and Comminications Director Christine Connolly for their headline comprehensive article titled “Important Information about Vaping in this weeks Friday edition of the TE News letter.

    This continues to be a huge, growing problem in our school and schools across America. Districts in NY, NJ and PA are installing vaping detectors in school bathrooms in efforts to try and slow down this nationwide epidemic sweeping the country. I wrote Christine telling her I think this is a good idea.

    Health risks due to vaping are reported in news articles daily. Over 500 young people adversely effected, some critically including 8 deaths so far.

    Parents of these young people say they didn’t know and weren’t paying close attention.

    Read the current article in the TE Newsletter in its entirety. It’s very good and provides great information.

    Pay close attention!

    [Reply]

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