Monroe County reacting to U.S. Surgeon General's recommendation in regards to Narcan

By: Ashley Edlund

Updated: Apr 10, 2018 11:19 AM EDT

Rochester. N.Y (WROC_TV) - As of April 3rd, there have been 42 deaths due to overdoses so far in 2018.

This time last year, just 17 were reported.

In response, the U.S. Surgeon General is now recommending more Americans start learning to use Narcan, a drug that can save someone's life in an overdose situation.

The Clinton Family Health Center, part of Rochester Regional Health, said they're trying to get as many people comfortable with using Narcan as they can.

For family medicine physician Fatma Akmese at the center, that's meant showing people how simple it is to use.

"If I press this, it will spray all the medicine out, so it's a one-step thing,” she said, holding the nasal version of Narcan.

Akmese and the center hold training sessions the first Friday of every month and reach out to the community to bring training to those who ask for it.

And those who have struggled with addiction, like David Attridge, said that's important.

"I’ve been in different situations and seen people brought back from the edge. They were just about gone when I saw them. It's a miracle drug, as far as I’m concerned."

Attridge, who formed the organization Recovery Now NY and helped create Gates to Recovery, feels the push to get more Narcan out there is working.

"We’re seeing more and more people coming to get training,” he said.

Even people, he says, don't think they're directly affected by it.

"My niece carries it and she really doesn't know anyone except for me, but she was able to help someone laying on the ground in the Public Market. She was able to bring her back and get 9-1-1 there after using the Narcan.”