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Narcan training sessions well received by community groups in Sheboygan County

As the saying goes, knowledge is power. Therefore, the more knowledgeable people are, the more powerful a force they can be.
That’s the method organizations in Sheboygan, including HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital, are taking when it comes to combating drug abuse and hopefully preventing deaths.

The realities of drug abuse are all too real in Sheboygan.

In May, a 28-year-old man was found dead in the bathroom of a public library, which is less than three miles away from HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital. Sheboygan police believe he overdosed after taking heroin.

“While some overdose cases are reported, others are not,” said Sgt. Michael Slelter. “Informants and citizens have also told us about cases, either involving themselves or others, where Narcan was used in a house or car, and we find out about it much later.”

Narcan, when used correctly, can help reverse the effects of a drug overdose. In 2018, Sgt. Slelter says there were 16 documented overdose cases in the city where the victim survived. There were another eight cases where the person died.

The issue goes beyond the city border. That’s why community leaders through Sheboygan County are working together. With the help of grant money, Healthy Sheboygan County 2020 hosted two Narcan training sessions. The sessions were carried out with the help of the Aids Resource Center of Wisconsin and HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital. Members of community organizations, medical providers and the general public were invited to attend.

Participants learned about the signs of an overdose and how to administer Narcan. As part of the grant, each participant in the training session received two doses of Narcan.

Between the two events, 32 people attended, including Kent Kollath, the executive director of Samaritan's Hand, a faith-based drug and alcohol outpatient clinic in Sheboygan County.

 “This education will be beneficial to us in life saving ways as we serve the clients at our outpatient clinic and our sober living facility,” said Kent.  “While the training itself was great, providing the Narcan kits is invaluable to us and we very much appreciate the organizations that worked together to provide this great resource to our community."

Narcan alone is not the answer. This training is part of a multifaceted approach HSHS-Eastern Wisconsin Division is taking to combat drug abuse. The approach combines prevention, education and treatment.

“One way we are working to prevent drug abuse, is by taking away some of the sources,” said Mary Paluchniak, Facilitator Outreach Coordinator at HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital. “We recently held medication take back events to prevent potential theft, opioid abuse and accidental poisonings.”

By supplying people with knowledge, the hope is people can get the help they need, when they need it.

Media Contacts

Angela Deja
Public Relations Coordinator
(920) 272-3360

Dana Jermstad
Senior Communications and Public Relations Manager
(920) 429-1752
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