Fighting Fentanyl: Local class teaches community members to save lives with Narcan

Training sessions show people how to administer live-saving opioid reversal treatment

SAN ANTONIO – Narcan is a powerful tool in the fight against fentanyl, and a local treatment center in San Antonio is showing people how to administer it to help save lives.

The medication, which you may also know as naloxone, is so powerful that it reverses opioid overdoses.

At least once a month, Kaitlyn Cortez, vice chair of A Recovery Place on Freedom Drive in San Antonio, holds Narcan training sessions.

Cortez teaches people how to administer Narcan to stop others from overdosing on heroin, fentanyl or prescription opioid medications.

“The people that come here are usually family members and friends that are worried about someone,” Cortez said.

Andrew Lewis said he attended the latest training session because worried about the prevalence of opioid overdoses in our region and wants to save lives.

“They are [part of] families. They are people. And a lot of people use because they are hurting,” Lewis said.

“I think it’s a good thing to have this to be able to help them,” he added.

Kevin Carter is living proof that Narcan saves lives. It was used on him several times during his 14-year addiction battle.

“It led me to homelessness, to jail. I overdosed a lot,” Carter said.

He is now in recovery and runs a sober house, helping others with substance abuse disorder.

Carter told KSAT he’s grateful he’s alive because of Narcan.

“It saves lives. It helps people to not overdose. I think that’s a good thing because that gives them a chance to get into recovery,” he said.

That’s the goal of Cortez’s Narcan training sessions. The medication offers people suffering from addiction or experiencing an accidental overdose a chance to stay alive and get help.

“I’ve seen people come in meetings in their 50s, 60s, and 70s and start a new life for themselves. It’s never too late,” said Cortez.

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About the Author:

Stephania Jimenez is an anchor on The Nightbeat. She began her journalism career in 2006, after graduating from Syracuse University. She's anchored at NBC Philadelphia, KRIS in Corpus Christi, NBC Connecticut and KTSM in El Paso. Although born and raised in Brooklyn, Stephania considers Texas home. Stephania is bilingual! She speaks Spanish.