Lynn Health Department's Opioid Prevention Specialist Candice McClory demonstrates how a Narcan spray bottle works. (Spenser Hasak)
LYNN — The Public Health Department has started offering free Narcan nasal spray kits and training sessions at City Hall.
The kits contain two doses of four-milligram naloxone nasal spray, fentanyl test strips, a mouth guard in case mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is necessary, instructions on how to use Narcan, and other educational resources.
“The brand name of naloxone, Narcan, is a lifesaving medication when used promptly in cases of opioid overdose,” a press release from the city said. “Family, friends, or community bystanders are encouraged to use Narcan as a first response to restore breathing in the event of an emergency.”
The Food and Drug Administration approved over-the-counter use of Narcan at the end of March. The city wanted to provide an option that made it available to everyone since the cost of Narcan is around $250, Opioid Prevention Specialist Candice McClory said.
“It’s a completely free service, no insurance needed,” McClory said. “Obviously we want people to call 911, but if they’re in the vicinity of City Hall, they can come in and grab a kit, no questions asked.”
The department is also hosting monthly informational sessions for larger groups. McClory, registered nurse Jennifer Almonte, and an officer from the Police Department are giving hour-long presentations including the history of Narcan, how to use it, and other educational information.
The next session is on May 9 from 4:30 to 5:30 at City Hall and no registration is needed. They are usually held on the second Tuesday of each month, and are offered in English with a Spanish translation.
“Providing training on how to administer Narcan is part of a comprehensive effort to not only combat substance use disorder, but also ensure that in extreme circumstances, we are using all available resources to try to keep people alive,” Mayor Jared Nicholson said.
If you aren’t able to attend the training sessions, McClory or others in the Public Health Department can give a 15-minute demonstration of how to use the nasal spray, she said.
She said that one of the goals is to normalize the use of Narcan with family members, businesses, office workers, and others.
“We really want to expand it to the businesses … especially restaurants that have more of a club vibe to them, just areas where we feel like people may be possibly under the influence, and just branch it out and just expand access to it,” McClory said.
Narcan is not a dangerous medication, she said.
“The good thing about Narcan is if you don’t have opioids in your system, it doesn’t work, so it doesn’t work for anything except for an opioid overdose,” McClory said.