Would you administer Narcan? How San Francisco supervisors hope you can help someone having a drug overdose

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Narcan, a medication used to block the effects of opioids, is one solution that's gaining traction at San Francisco City Hall, but is still raising lots of questions elsewhere.

"That's it - it's just that one click," explained Kristen Marshal, manager of The DOPE Project, which stands for drug overdose prevention and education.

On Wednesday, Marshall showed a room full of San Francisco supervisors and city staff, how to use Narcan nasal spray and save someone who's overdosing on opioids.

"Bear down on their sternum and rub it, like a chest noogy, as hard as you can. Hey, hey can you hear me? Wake up! I think you're overdosing, you're turning blue. If you don't wake up, I'm gonna Narcan you," said Marshall as she demonstrated what to say to someone before you admister Narcan.

According to The DOPE project, in the first half of 2019, 1,142 Narcan overdose reversals were reported in San Francisco.

You can buy Narcan, and use insurance, at many drug stores in San Francisco. You can also get free Narcan at the City's CBHS pharmacy on Howard and 10th Streets, South of Market.

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"My expectation now will that my staff will always have it on them, that I'll have it on me and I'll know how to apply it," said District 6 supervisor, Matt Haney, who organized the Narcan training and says he's helped reverse several overdoses himself.

Kate Larsen: "Do you expect everyday regular San Francisco citizens to be able to administer Narcan?"

Matt Haney: ".... I would ask members of our community to understand what Narcan is, to know how to access it, to know how to apply it, if that's something you're comfortable with."

"At least once a week, I see the ambulance trying to help somebody who's been called out for an overdose," said Trey Haney (no relation to Supervisor Haney), who lives and works in San Francisco.

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"Maybe a free training would give me more knowledge.I still don't think I would be comfortable if I saw somebody overdosing on the street to deliver narcan to them. Probably would just make a call to 911."

Narcan experts say in the event of an opioid overdose, calling 911 is okay, but that administering the Narcan first is best practice.

Supervisor Haney says he's working to organize a larger community Narcan training In October at Glide Memorial Church.

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