NORTH SMITHFIELD – A free seminar offering North Smithfield residents the chance to learn about the application of the life-saving drug Narcan will take place at Town Hall on Friday, March 4.
The town will host guest speaker Dr. Anita Jacobson from the University of Rhode Island in an event starting at 7 p.m. at 83 Greene St.
Jacobson will cover topics including how to identify someone that is suffering from the dangerous effects of opioids; application of the drug; handling and storage of Narcan; and a brief discussion of the Good Samaritan Act, according to a release this week from Town Hall.
“We have read about and possibly witnessed first-hand the insidious effects of opioid abuse in our community,” the release noted. “Opioid overdose is the #1 killer of people between the ages of 18 to 45.”
Town Administrator Paul Zwolenski reportedly organized the event following the announcement in January that Rhode Island cities and towns would receive direct funding from a national opioid settlement, with money to be used to address the crisis. The state’s agreement with the country’s three largest pharmaceutical distributors — McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen – combined with a prior deal signed with Johnson & Johnson, will see some $114 million dedicated to fighting the epidemic in Rhode Island; with $250,000 allocated to the town of North Smithfield over the next 18 years.
Zwolenski has invited town employees to attend the event, and opened the seminar to residents this week. The training session will be open to adult residents exclusively, and the administrator has asked that only one member per family attend, as supplies are, “very limited.”
Upon completion of the training, participants will receive one kit containing Narcan. The seminar is expected to take roughly one hour, including a questions and answer session, and is limited to 75 participants.
Those who would like to attend the event are asked to contact Administrative Assistant Donna Rovedo, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-767-2200 ext. 301. Residents are advised to contact Rovedo as soon as possible to secure a spot.