Health

The Kentucky Harm Reduction Coalition will distribute and train people on how to use a medication that reverses the effects of overdoses from heroin and other opioid drugs.

The coalition will offer Naloxone, also known as Narcan, Feb. 10 at the Department of Public Health and Wellness, located at 400 E Gray St. Training will take place between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Russ Read, cofounder of Kentucky Harm Reduction, said the Naloxone kits will be given free of charge to anyone affected by opioid addiction.

“We think it’s possible for anybody who has heroin or opioid addiction in their lives to have one of these kits, because it will actually save their lives by reversing overdose,” he said.

Read said the coalition works with the Louisville Needle Exchange program to provide Naloxone kits to people who utilize the program.

As of Jan. 16, 1,885 individuals had visited the needle exchange program. That’s up from 1,329 in November. Of those, 45 percent are returning participants.

The exchange has provided 180,562 syringes and collected 86,7310 syringes, officials said.

The most recent report also shows five clients were referred for HIV treatment. Of those, two were discovered to have HIV when tested by syringe exchange staff. And 147 people were tested for hepatitis C; 95 were treated.

“It’s known to us that anybody who has constant contact with treatment resources are more likely to take treatment than anybody else,” Read said.

No registration or advance notice is required to attend the sessions.