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By Erin Smith

An Overdose Awareness Day event was held on the front lawn of the Bladen County Courthouse on Friday afternoon.

Cheryl Harris, with Eastpointe MCO, said the event was planned as a way to reach out to the community regarding overdose deaths. A display of five pairs of empty shoes was set up on the sidewalk to remember those Bladen County residents who died as a result of an overdose.

“The main thing with Overdose Awareness Day is to honor those who have lost their lives,” said Harris.

Richard Berg, with Community Care of North Carolina, spoke about the Good Samaritan Law. He explained this law protects someone who offers assistance to someone who has overdosed.

He explained a recent incident where an individual was charged with second-degree murder for not reporting an overdose, and the patient died as a result.

He said the use of Narcan by law enforcement has resulted in several overdose reversals.

“We are saving lives,” said Berg of the use of Naloxone inhalers by law enforcement.

Berg said the Harm Reduction Coalition offers Narcan kits to law enforcement. He also said individuals can purchase Narcan from the pharmacy.

Heather Ellis, with Bladen County EMS, said the Bladenboro Police Department and Bladen County Sheriff’s Office now carry Narcan.

“If they have not overdosed, it won’t hurt them,” said Ellis of the use of Narcan.

She explained that EMS has used Narcan for a number of years. She has taught law enforcement how to administer Narcan.

Bladen Community College offered people the chance to learn the new hands-only CPR method. There were also information booths offered by Bladen County EMS, Eastpointe MCO, JLCC, and others.