Organization holds free opioid overdose training in Hamilton County
On average more than 115 people in the United States die from overdosing on opioids each day.
That's according to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and it's why more communities are stepping up to combat the crisis on their own, including Chattanooga.
Now that Narcan is available over the counter, anyone can help reverse an overdose and save someone's life.
Channel 3 visited a class taught by Regional Overdose Prevention Specialist Vanessa Spotts. It's how her team with the Hamilton County Coalition (HCC) is helping Chattanoogans fight the opioid crisis.
"We have to look at all the avenues to reverse it and to significantly reduce it," Spotts said.
Spotts trains people like Ezra Harris on how to help someone who may have overdosed, hoping that by saving a life, it will turn into an opportunity for that person to get treatment and eventually lead to recovery.
"I didn't know that it was as problematic as it was in our region. She talked about Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio. I figured it was more out west," Harris said.
The training includes learning the signs of an overdose, how to get help, and what to do in those critical moments between life and death. It also provides education about alternative pain management and prevention.
"The more you know about it, you can help save a life. You can prevent something. It could be yours or a relative and you'll never know. It could be somebody that you know or somebody you don't know," Harris added.
Spotts and Harris said if one life is saved from the techniques taught in this class, it's worth it.
Since April 2017, more than 1,000 people have been trained in how to handle overdoses.
READ MORE | Channel 3's coverage of the opioid crisis
HCC has also distributed more than 3,000 Narcan kits to agencies and people in the community for free.
The free classes are held every month. To sign up for the next one, click here or call 423-305-1449.