VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Katie Thornton wanted to tackle a life-or-death situation impacting teens here and across the county. So the HeLa High School junior set out to do Narcan training sessions at 7 schools in the Evergreen School District in Vancouver.
Thornton, who is earning her Gold Award with the Girl Scouts, told KOIN 6 News she decided to “create a project where I would educate a bunch of high schoolers on what Narcan is and how to identify opioid overdoses and what they can do to save a person’s life in that event.”
The nasal spray has saved countless lives of people who’ve overdosed on opioids.
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She explained how easy it is to use if you know what to do.
“You would open it up here in the back, put it as far up their nose as possible and then you press the plunger and it sprays up into their sinuses so they don’t even have to breathe it in, it just gets absorbed up there,” she said. “So if the person isn’t breathing it can still work and it can start counteracting the opioids in the brain.”
She did demonstrations for about 270 students and staff at the various schools she visited. While Evergreen schools already have Narcan on campus, those campuses can be quite large. Thornton thought it was important that students knew how to respond quickly.
“It’s important that students know what’s going on. even in our school,” she said. “Schools are big and it’s not a super quick reaction time. So if the person there responding knows what to do it can definitely save that person’s life.”