CAC offers virtual Narcan training this month

By Jennifer Woods -

Joe Cantrell (left) and Brooke Truman (right) are Pathways to Recovery Peer Support Specialists.

Joe Cantrell (left) and Brooke Truman (right) are Pathways to Recovery Peer Support Specialists.

Courtesy photo

The Community Action Commission (CAC) of Fayette County has the opportunity to provide free Narcan training and distribution every Friday of this month at 10:30 a.m.

According to, “NARCAN (naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray is the first and only FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose. NARCAN Nasal Spray counteracts the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose. Since most accidental overdoses occur in a home setting, it was developed for first responders as well as family, friends and caregivers — with no medical training required.”

The CAC-provided training is being done virtually (live and by PowerPoint) due to the pandemic and can be accessed through the Facebook page, “Fayette County Pathways to Recovery,” according to Joe Cantrell, a Pathways to Recovery Peer Support Specialist.

In order to take the training, individuals are asked to register online through a link that will be shared on the Facebook page each week for that Friday. Please note that registration links for past weeks will not work. All that’s needed to register are first and last names along with a valid email address.

Following registration, a confirmation email will be sent that gives details on how to join the webinar training. Following the training, there will be a survey to fill out. In order to receive a free Narcan, this survey must be done.

According to an email from CAC, “The Community Action Commission of Fayette County was funded through the Health Resources and Services Administration through the Rural Health Opioid Program, because we applied for funding during a time when our county was second in Ohio and seventh in the nation for fatal opioid overdose. Every sector of our community was inundated financially, programmatically and emotionally by the sheer number of individuals suffering with addiction. Since we received that grant, opioid related deaths decreased by 69 percent. Our plan was research-based and our outcomes show that something we are doing in this community is going right.

“We began with two Peer Recovery Specialists, who are members of our staff, in long-term recovery from addiction. Through support through a grant through Ohio MHAS’s State Opioid Response Program, and the Ohio Start Program, we were able to hire three more. An addiction that some say there is no coming back from, we have five amazing individuals that have, and I know many more, as they’ve come to our agency still young in their recovery looking for work and desperate to help others.

“Our Peer Recovery Specialists work with individuals to first encourage harm reduction, then connect and support them in treatment. Next, they work with them to sort out all things necessary to become independent, self-sufficient members of society. In the past year, 83 percent of our clients have begun and retained a treatment program. We have several going on six months sober when we’ve been operating only one full year. Several are working, some are in school and many are fighting to bring their children home.

“Another portion of our program is community training and education. Our staff can go out and tell their stories, train on opioid use disorder and types of treatment options, and are able to distribute Narcan to individuals, families and professionals in our community. Our goal is to get this information out and help as many people as we can while we have the funding to do so. If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, it is our hope that we can partner with you.”

According to Christina Blair, the planner for CAC, “During COVID, we are seeing an increase in overdoses. All the problems that we had before COVID hit are still going on, so we want to get this life saving medication out to the individuals who need it or to their family members and friends.”

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.

Joe Cantrell (left) and Brooke Truman (right) are Pathways to Recovery Peer Support Specialists. Cantrell (left) and Brooke Truman (right) are Pathways to Recovery Peer Support Specialists. Courtesy photo

By Jennifer Woods