Turning Point Holding Community Outreach And Narcan Training At Guernsey Library
Published: March 6th, 2024
By: Sarah Genter

Turning Point holding community outreach and Narcan training at Guernsey Library Some of the resources that will be available at the Turning Point of Chenango County community outreach events on March 8 and 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Guernsey Memorial Library. Visitors can take free pamphlets on various resources as well as free Narcan, drug testing strips, and Deterra bags. (Photo by Sarah Genter)

NORWICH — The Turning Point of Chenango County, located at 24 East Main Street in Norwich, is offering two community outreach events and a Narcan training this month at the Guernsey Memorial Library, located at 3 Court Street in Norwich.

The community outreach events will be held on Friday, March 8 and Friday, March 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. Visitors can learn about the Turning Point's peer support services as well as other supports and programs for individuals in recovery or seeking recovery from substance use, such as mutual aid support groups, arts and crafts activities, events, a shadow book recovery journal group, life recovery Bible meetings, and more.

"Basically our goal is just to reach out to the community as much as possible and get as much information out there to help," said Turning Point Peer Support Specialist Christie Bergamo. "Basically just let them know that we’re here to help, because I mean we’re not just clinicians, we’re just people you can talk to on a face-to-face level."

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Those who stop by can also receive free Narcan, drug testing strips, and Deterra bags, which are used to destroy unwanted drugs or expired prescriptions.

Bergamo said there will also be informational pamphlets available on topics such as the good samaritan law; the NCAP program, which reduces copays for Narcan when purchased from a pharmacy; emergency response safety plans; and fentanyl.

She said her hope is to host at least two community outreach events per month at Guernsey to help spread the word about the resources out there for those who use substances, as well as the services available at the Turning Point.

"We’re going to have a lot more peer services information, like if you ever want to talk to somebody, please come on down. We offer resources for if you need help with food, clothing, if you need help trying to get medical or something, you can come to us. Basically we help you with any resource you are in need of," Bergamo explained.

"Even if they’re just having a rough day, come in for a cup of coffee. You don’t even have to talk to anybody, just sit there if you want. Just be away from out there and come into a safe spot. Come in out of the rain or out of the cold. Just know that we’re here for you."

The Narcan training will at 11 a.m., on Wednesday, March 27, at Guernsey Library. No registration is required.

Individuals attending the training will learn about signs of an overdose; how to administer Narcan; other actions to take in the event of an overdose, such as calling 911, using the recovery position, and rescue breathing; and what to do if the first dose of Narcan doesn't work.

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"You have to use the second one in the other side of the nostril, and you have to use it after two minutes after the person doesn’t respond," said Bergamo. "You used to be able to Narcan a person once, maybe twice, and they would wake up. But now it’s getting to the point where you have to Narcan two, three, four, five [times]. I’ve heard of people being Narcanned ten or 12 times and they’re still not waking up."

Additionally, she said after individuals are revived using Narcan, they should not be left alone or allowed to use more drugs, as the effects of Narcan will wear off after 30 to 90 minutes.

"Naloxone only works for 30 to 90 minutes because it binds the receptors. So you have to make sure that they know that. When they wake up from the Narcan, don’t let them use again because if they do, they’re not going to feel it, but 30 to 90 minutes from that it’s going to come back and slap them in the face," she explained.

"Unless an ambulance is called or police is called, stay with the person for the next couple of hours just to make sure they’re okay. That’s like the basic rule. Stay with the person for three hours, at least until the naloxone wears off. Make sure that there are no signs of a returning overdose, because then you might need to give another Narcan."

Signs of an overdose include unconsciousness, an inability to be woken up, not breathing or having trouble breathing, making gurgling sounds, nails and lips turning blue, pinpoint-sized pupils, and occasionally seizures.

Additionally, Bergamo said individuals who respond to an overdose don't have to worry about harming someone if it turns out they're not overdosing. She said Narcan will not harm people not experiencing an overdose, pregnant women, or children, and it will not have any interactions with medication in the person's system.

Narcan is effective against opiates such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, morphine, vicodin, oxycontin, percocet, fentanyl, dilaudid, codeine, and more, Bergamo said. It will have no effect on non-opioids such as cocaine, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines, muscle relaxers, alcohol, K2, PCP, and others.

"There's no dangers in taking this medication," Bergamo said. "Point blank, it saves your life if it needs to."

Those in need of new Narcan doses can stop by the Turning Point to visit their Narcan vending machine, which is free to use. The machine also dispenses free Deterra bags.

For more information on the Turning Point of Chenango County, visit The Turning Point of Chenango County, FORDO Facebook page, call the center at 607-373-3825, or stop by during the center's operating hours.