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State leaders urge viewing of new documentary on dealing with opioid overdoses as crisis worsens amid pandemic

Opioid Crisis

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– It may have gotten lost in the awful toll of the COVID pandemic, but the opioid crisis has actually gotten worse in the last year. The state of Connecticut wants everyone to see a new documentary about dealing with opioid overdoses.

Narcan, also called Naloxone, is the drug that counteracts an opioid overdose, and the state of Connecticut wants you to know how to use it, so it helped make a documentary. The 20-minute film gives step by step instructions for the use of Narcan, including how to make sure the person is really overdosing.

“You want to shake the shoulders firmly, and you want to rub the middle of the chest or sternum,” says one of the trainers in the film. “I don’t know if anybody’s every tried that, but if you take your knuckles and rub down the sternum, it’s going to make somebody react because it hurts.”

The need for Narcan is growing because the coronavirus pandemic has only made the opioid epidemic worse. Connecticut set a new record in 2020 of at least 1,259 deaths from opioids. Hundreds more are still under investigation.

“Fentanyl, as you know, Susan is the poison that is responsible for killing more than 85% of those who overdose in our state,” Dita Bhargava, Shatterproof Ambassador said to Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz (D-CT), in an online introduction to the documentary.

Bhargava lost her son Alex to a fentanyl overdose in 2018.

“And every day since his passing has been a tough one and a long, but the biggest tragedy in Alex’s death is that our family is far from being alone in this loss,” Bhargava said.

The Narcan training class seen in the film is one originally intended for cops and firefighters.

“And they turned around and said, ‘These days, we are all first responders,'” said another one of the trainers in the film. “So this is something that needs to be known on the community level.”

Which is the reason the state is now putting it out for all to see.

“You will be seeing this film on your local public access stations as well as on our social media platforms,” Bysiewicz said.

To watch the documentary on Facebook, click here.

For more details on getting help to treat addiction, click here.

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