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Locals learn how to administer opioid antidote

WILLCOX — The opioid antidote Naloxone can be the difference between life and death.

Willcox locals were given the potentially life-saving education on how to administer the opioid antidote Naloxone last Monday, July 15.

Laura Morehouse gave a presentation on opioids, Naloxone and how to administer the medication. Willcox Against Substance Abuse (WASA) partnered with the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center to put on the informative lecture at the Willcox Community Center.

“Set (the narcan vial) down on a hard surface, aim from the side or straight down (with a needle to extract the narcan). Draw out all of the contents,” Morehouse said. “So again, you want to stick it on the ground (the vial), any hard surface will do, and draw out all of the contents, then you are going to stick it (the needle) straight into the muscle. We recommend the shoulder, thigh or the butt. You stick it straight into the muscle; you don’t have to worry about hitting a vein, it’s OK. Straight into the muscle, try to be as straight as you can so it gets in there; that’s it. It’s very easy to do.”

According to Director of WASA Sally White, this was the first-ever educational lecture of how to administer Naloxone in Willcox. Individuals from multiple agencies were present, including paramedics and multiple members of the Bowie Volunteer Fire Department.

“Because Bowie is 25 miles from Willcox, HCI is our ambulance service for down there, so they have to come 25 miles just to Bowie or to any call on the highway. So we’re the first on the scene,” said Bowie volunteer firefighter Andrew Topor. Nine times out of 10, we’ll have them assessed with vitals, everything ready to go, by the time they pull up. We give them what we know, they get them on a gurney, and they’re out of there.

“If we can get to them (an overdose victim) in two to three minutes, start using the (Naloxone) on them, start getting them rescue breathing; we can start bringing them up so (the local ambulance services) can get the chance to get (the overdose victim) to the hospital.”

According to the records kept by Northern Cochise Community Hospital, Willcox received three confirmed cases of overdoses since April 15, 2019. Since these numbers were released, another overdose was reported Sunday in Bowie, involving a 32-year-old man overdosing on heroin.

Everyone who was at the presentation was given Naloxone, and the Bowie Fire volunteers took several kits back for departmental use.

Those interested in acquiring Naloxone can obtain a kit from the WASA office.

WASA winds down after ‘best summer' ever

WILLCOX — Described as the “best summer” ever, 2019 WASA summer programs are finishing up.

Sally White, director of Willcox Against Substance Abuse (WASA) talked about what the organization did during Friday’s WASA board meeting. With more than 50 different programs and six youth helpers, this summer had the largest number of programs in the organization’s history.

“This was by far the best summer we have ever had,” White said. “(Program coordinators) were able to stay in the office and direct from there, and not be out doing the classes ourselves a lot of times,” White said. “Teachers are the ones who like to do the summer classes because it gives them a little extra money. And we have a few that just do it because they think it’s fun and work with us and come back year after year, but this one has been really super. Each one of them (youth leaders) took a class by themselves that they ran.”

Elena Moreno, who was one of the youth helpers, did face painting at all of the WASA summer events and earned the organization roughly $200. Moreno also taught a makeup class. Effects makeup, as Moreno puts it, is makeup that is akin to theatrical film makeup depicting grisly and gruesome theatrical makeup.

“I got a better face-painting kit, so I’m prepared now. And on our Thursday classes, we did effects makeup. The first Thursday, we did a tear in our arms; and yesterday we did a pencil through our arm. A lot of the moms weren’t too happy. They were scared and freaked out, but it comes off,” Moreno said.

WASA had planned to conduct its annual Sports-tacular Tournaments in Keiller Park on Saturday. However, on its Facebook page, WASA announced the event was cancelled.

“We have some very sad news. Due to lack of interest, we have, unfortunately, had to cancel this event. We hope to pursue this event later in the future,” WASA wrote Monday.

The event was planned to include kickball, horseshoes, softball, dodgeball, volleyball and cornhole.