Nichol Sanchez, director of nursing for New Beginnings Recovery in Van Wert, takes a Project DAWN kit from Allen County Health Department Nurse Tammi Gough after Sunday’s presentation. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
Nichol Sanchez, director of nursing for New Beginnings Recovery in Van Wert, takes a Project DAWN kit from Allen County Health Department Nurse Tammi Gough after Sunday’s presentation. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
DELPHOS — Those suffering from addictions and their families were invited to an addiction treatment and rehabilitation fair showcasing area providers of treatment for drug addiction Sunday.

Mayor Josh Gillespie’s Delphos Addiction, Prevention and Education Team, a committee designed to get information out to combat drug issues in Delphos, sponsored the event.

The team consists of Mark Spieles, CEO of Westwood Behavioral Health; Margene Warren, who worked in the Allen County Juvenile Court system, the last 16 years dealing with substance abuse; Nichol Sanchez, director of nursing for New Beginnings Recovery in Van Wert; Amy Wiechart-Bayliff, who works in Crime Victims Services; and nurse and local EMT Ben Norbeck.

“We looked at the situation from a whole and we understand that there’s kind of the immediate situation of preventing overdoses, there are barriers to treatment,” said Spieles. “And what can be done to eliminate those barriers from a financial perspective, transportation, all those kinds of things have been thought about not only by this committee but also in various counties and treatment providers to be able to make treatment more accessible to those who want it.”

Gillespie has experience addiction within his family.

“We are working on the problem from a law enforcement standpoint with the K9 and other activity and we need to make sure we work on the other part of it as well,” he said. “I want to make sure we give them help and give them resources.”

A Project DAWN presentations was given by Tammi Gough of the Allen County Health Department as well. Project DAWN is a community-based overdose education and naloxone distribution program. Participants received training Sunday on:

— Recognizing the signs and symptoms of overdose

— Distinguishing between different types of overdose

— Performing rescue breathing

— Calling emergency medical services

— Administering intranasal Naloxone

Gough said the health department came on board quickly with the program.

“Whenever you can save a life you have to,” Gough said. “Parents, friends and others need to have these kits available.”

Gough said everyone in the household should know the kits are there.

“Wouldn’t it be awful if there was an overdose situation and that person could not be saved because no one knew the naloxone was there?” she asked.

Gough said addicts being aware of the kits is not going to facilitate an overdose.

“Knowing it’s there is not going to cause someone to think it’s OK to overdose. That’s not how it works. These people are just trying to feel normal again. They aren’t planning it. They don’t think, ‘Hey, we’ve got Naloxone so we can go get some heroine and not have to worry about overdosing.’ That isn’t that way it goes,” she stressed.

Naloxone is not to be used in place of professional medical care. It is effective for only 30-90 minutes.

“You have no idea how much of the opioid they have in their system,” Gough said. “You should always call 9-1-1. They could come out of it and then a short time, later, the opioids will take over again and if you don’t have another dose of Naloxone, they may not recover.”

Naloxone only works on opioid overdoses and isn’t harmful if there is not an opioid overdose.

Everyone in attendance left with a Project Dawn kit.

Anyone can call the health department at 419-228-4457 to see when the CD can be watched and a kit obtained.