NORTH ADAMS, MASS. >> A series of community naloxone (also commonly referred to as Narcan) trainings have been scheduled in North Adams. The trainings are free and open to all residents of Northern Berkshire. Naloxone is an opioid overdose reversal drug that can be administered to someone experiencing an overdose from heroin or prescription opioid pain medication. Those who attend the training will learn to identify the signs of an overdose, determine if an overdose victim needs rescue breathing or CPR, perform rescue breathing and CPR, administer naloxone, and how to obtain low cost or no cost naloxone.

The trainings ensure that those who may witness an overdose will have adequate training to administer naloxone properly. In cases where there is no pulse, the naloxone will not work without efforts to restore the heartbeat such as CPR or the use of a defibrillator. Because of this, all of the community trainings will include CPR. First responders are seeing more and more "bystander naloxone" on the scene when responding to overdose calls.

The trainings will be held on Aug. 24 at the UNO Community Center at 157 River Street, September 7 at the Northern Berkshire YMCA, Sept. 21 at the Mohawk Forest Community Room, and Oct. 3 at the Greylock Valley Community Room. All trainings will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m..


AJ Jusino, an EMT and Assistant Chief of the North Adams Ambulance Service will teach the training. AJ has administered naloxone in the field countless times and reversed many overdoses.

"It's important that people understand that while naloxone can reverse an overdose, it must be administered properly. An in depth training such as this will increase the knowledge and skill of bystanders who have naloxone. Even if naloxone is on the scene, bystanders should always call 911 immediately," said Jusino.

Community trainings may continue to be offered on a regular basis if they are well attended. Those attending will also learn about recovery resources available in the region.

Preregistration is requested. You can register by contacting AJ Jusino at or Wendy Penner, 413-663-7588 ext 14. The trainings are sponsored by the North Adams Ambulance Service, the Rx Heroin Work Group of the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, and the Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative.

The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people in Northern Berkshire County, Massachusetts by organizing, supporting, and empowering the community. It places particular emphasis on strengthening neighborhoods and community life; preventing alcohol/substance abuse; fostering economic development; mitigating poverty; supporting positive youth development and building bridges between residents and service agencies. For information visit