MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In the fight against opioid addiction, local police departments, including some right in the Capital Region, are offering free training for people to help spot an overdose and administer the life saving drug to reverse it.

From April 2020 to April 2021, overdoses in the United States topped over 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In her 2023 Executive Budget, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a $402 million increase in support for the Office of Addiction Services and Supports, which could mean more help for those struggling with addiction in the Empire State.

In an effort to help with preventing overdoses, local police departments, like Mechanicville and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, are offering free Narcan training for anyone who wants to learn. On Thursday night, the event was held at the Mechanicville-Stillwater Elks Lodge in Mechanicville.  

“I’ve personally had a reversal that I’ve done myself within the last year. It’s a big deal. Sometimes it’s not one reversal but it’s two or three that takes someone out of it but you’re saving a life by doing it,” says Ian Ford.

The training explains how the drug works; how to spot an overdose, and most importantly, how to administer Narcan to someone who may need it.

“For us, that’s part of the training is how do you get access to it, how does it work,” Ford explains, “what are the dangers, if there are any? And, just being comfortable after being taught by someone in law enforcement how it works. A lot of people are afraid to use it because they do not know how it works.”