ThedaCare Behavioral Health personnel are getting training on using one of the best tools to avoid opioid deaths: naloxone.

Earlier this month, U.S. Surgeon General, Jerome Adams stressed the crucial role this drug can play in keeping someone alive after an opioid overdose would have stopped their breathing.

In an advisory, Adams says that for anyone who is touched by opioids in any way, “knowing how to use naloxone and keeping it within reach can save a life.”

In Wisconsin, 827 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016 — more than the number of deaths due to car accidents. On a national scale, the number of overdose deaths more than doubled between 2010 and 2016, from 21,089 to 42,249.

“We have a number of patients who come to ThedaCare Behavioral Health for help with their opioid addiction,” said Heather Pagel, therapeutic services manager for Appleton-based ThedaCare Behavioral Health. “Although we have not had an overdose occur in our building, we know the possibility of this happening is very real, and we want to make sure our staff is prepared.”

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