Sharpsburg officials work to combat opioid overdoses |

Sharpsburg officials work to combat opioid overdoses

Tawnya Panizzi
Naloxone, which can reverse the effects of a drug overdose, will be available to participants of an overdose training in Sharpsburg on June 13, 2019.

Sharpsburg Mayor Matt Rudzki didn’t mince words when encouraging people to attend tonight’s drug awareness program in the borough.

“Last year, nearly 50,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose,” Rudzki said. “It is a deadly and devastating epidemic. We can’t keep parsing this dire issue.”

Rudzki joins state Rep. Sara Innamorato and the Allegheny County Health Department to host the overdose prevention training from 6 to 8 p.m. at the borough building, 1611 Main Street.

Skilled professionals will present tips to recognize signs of an overdose as well as steps to administer the opioid overdose antidote naloxone.

Take-home kits that include the nasal spray will be distributed for free.

Rudzki recommended the session for anyone at risk of an opioid overdose, friends and family of someone at risk, and healthcare, social services and law enforcement employees.

“We need to acknowledge that addiction is a disease,” he said.

“It is a lifetime struggle. Addiction impacts the afflicted, their families, friends and communities.”

Last year, Foxwall EMS agreed to participate in the naloxone “Leave Behind” program to combat overdoses.

The Fox Chapel-based service leaves naloxone with family members or friends of overdose victims who choose not to be taken to the hospital after being treated.

This year, across the state, EMS administered more than 21,000 doses of naloxone through May 18.

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121 x1512, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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