HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - As the opioid crisis continues across our nation and in Mississippi, leaders in the Hattiesburg community are speaking out about the importance of being educated on the life saving tool Narcan.
“We continue to lose our family members, we continue to lose our children up until just very recently more deaths in our community have been overdose deaths,” Hattiesburg business owner James Moore said.
Moore worked as his son Jeffrey’s picture overlooks his workspace. A memory that has lead to his mission. His son died from an overdose several years back. Moore continues his push to educate residents in the Pine Belt on Narcan.
“The numbers of our community members and our kids that are dying is continuing to go up, even with this tool for life that’s available," Moore said. "So I urge people don’t wait until you find yourself in a situation where you are saying I wish I would. Come in now, take ten minutes of your time, watch the video and go home with this life saving tool.”
“The drugs that are being sold on the street today almost all have fentanyl in them which is of course very deadly. Narcan can reverse that overdose,” said 12th District Circuit Judge Bob Helfrich said.
Helfrich was one of the first in Mississippi to implement a drug court in 2003 within the 12th Distirct that serves Forrest and Perry Counties. He sees the need for Narcan education as he has watched more than 500 people graduate from drug court turning their lives around.
“It’s a three year program for those high risk individuals that are addicted to drugs and alcohol," Helfrich said. "It’s really amazing to watch them transform their lives into productive citizens. If a family has someone who is at risk or is using, they should have it at home.”
Moore demonstrates Narcan which is an opioid antagonist.
“If there is any life left in that person at all, if this is given to them one spray in one nostril, they will more than likely re-grain consciousness and live long enough for the paramedics to get there,” Moore said.
Moore offers the training inside his business, Moore’s Bicycle Shop, in Hattiesburg at no charge. He said the Narcan he gives out after training is made possible by a grant through the Department of Mental Health plus federal dollars.