Two free Narcan training sessions are planned over the next several weeks in Ocean County.

The public is invited — but encouraged to register beforehand — to learn about the signs of an opioid overdose and how to use Narcan (brand name for naloxone) to reverse the effects.

  • Monday, Jan. 22 (6 to 8 p.m.) — Forever Young Nursery School, Forked River
  • Wednesday, Feb. 21 (6 to 8 p.m.) — Abundant Grace Church, Toms River

Eileen Kall with Young People in Recovery-Ocean County, which is organizing the events, said while the training targets anyone who knows someone suffering from substance use disorder, it can also help residents who'd like to learn the process just in case they encounter a stranger in need of revival at a local store or parking lot.

"Everybody goes home with a kit when you're done," Kall said. "It is not a form of treatment, but it gives that person a second chance to think about the direction they want to go in."

These will be the 13th and 14th Narcan training events presented by YPR-Ocean County since they launched the program about 18 months ago. The training is provided by Urban Treatment Associates.

Kall said the opioid antidote takes less than a minute to assemble and administer, as long as you know what you're doing.

The medication is sold over the counter in New Jersey.

Al Della Fave, a spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, said getting trained and equipped with Narcan ahead of time is critical to increasing one's chances of survival.

"Every minute that passes brings the person closer to death," Della Fave said. "It can't be expressed enough the importance of the antidote being administered immediately."

As of Thursday morning, the county prosecutor's office had been notified of 16 opioid reversals administered by law enforcement already in 2018. There were 333 reversals in 2017, and 502 in 2016.

To register for a training event, contact Donna Catlow at 732-425-7938.