Door-to-door training helps families respond to overdoses in Central Texas

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Books, art and Narcan nasal spray boxes line the book shelf at the Recovery Centered Living home.

The sober house for men in north Austin is center stage Sunday night for training that’s already helped save one member who overdosed this summer.

“He went into the bathroom and locked himself in and decided he was going to shoot himself up,” House Manager Tim Fowler said. “I don’t think he would’ve made it if it wasn’t for the Narcan.”

Narcan also known as Naloxone can quickly restore breathing after an overdose.

“This is not the silver bullet to the overdose crisis, but what it is…it’s a way to keep people alive,” said Williamson County Paramedic Daniel Sledge. “People are dying of overdose and we need to do everything we can to try to try stop as many as we can.”

Sledge is part of a team of specially-trained paramedics in Williamson County.

The Mobile Outreach Team works with EMS and responds to mental health and overdose calls. They average five to ten calls a day.

“It’s linked people to treatment who have said things like…we didn’t think we were eligible for treatment. We couldn’t afford it or are uninsured,” explained Sledge. “We are not there to shove treatment down anybody’s throat or anything like that – we’re just there to reach out to them…and see what their needs are and if there’s anyway we can help.”

The team is handing out the most rescue kits along I-35 and in suburbs like Round Rock and Austin.

“If I hadn’t had that training I would know that that could save his life I wouldn’t know what to do,” says Fowler.

Sledge and his team will lead an overdose response training this Thursday, July 25 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. It’s open to the public and will be held at the Williamson County EMS Training Facility at 3189 SE Inner Loop in Georgetown. You can RSVP at WilcoNarcan@gmail.com.

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