Cuyahoga Falls -- In an effort to educate the families of opiate addicts and to arm them with Narcan in the event of an overdose, a seminar featuring a recovery advocate and a physician took place Sept. 29 at the Natatorium.

"Our goal is to share information about the heroin epidemic [and] to train, with professionals, how to use the Narcan system through a grant to Summit County," said local real estate agent Ed Davidian who hosted the seminar on behalf of its sponsor, Parents of Prodigals of Christ Community Chapel in Hudson.

Twenty Narcan kits, each containing two doses, were handed out at the outreach group's eighth seminar. Davidian said the seminars are effective.

"I bumped into a couple on the street who attended the last seminar in Hudson and they thanked me for the seminar," he said. "They saved their 21-year-old son's life and then he was transferred to the hospital by the paramedics and finished his 45- or 60-days at Glen Beigh in Cleveland."

Davidian told about another man, 22, someone he knows personally and described as once a "mean, cantankerous brat" who overdosed on heroin and was revived once by his girlfriend and twice by paramedics. He was in jail for six months and now is in a treatment center in Clinton.

"Cody came to know the Lord six weeks ago and was baptized," Davidian said. "He is a completely new person. That's my purpose for doing this, to share the Lord with people. And you can't do it when they're dead. You have to keep them alive long enough to hear the good word."

Narcan is a brand name for Naloxone, an opiate antagonist drug that preserves brain, heart and lung functions and prevents brain damage, explained China Darrington, who said she was a former drug addict and now a recovery advocate with XIX Recovery Support Services. "What we're trying to do is keep opiate involved addicts breathing long enough until they can find their pathway to their own personal recovery," Darrington said. "We can help facilitate that pathway, unfortunately, as a person who is in long-term healing from recovery from addiction, no one could have done that for me. No one could have brought me to the point of understanding how much pain and misery and suffering in addiction that I actually needed to have."

See the Oct. 9 edition of the Cuyahoga Falls News-Press for the complete story.


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