Learn how to respond to an overdose: upcoming trainings in our community

As a community, we have the opportunity to equip ourselves with the knowledge and tools needed to respond to an overdose. Public Health – Seattle & King County and our partners are committed to increasing awareness and providing trainings to King County residents, healthcare professionals, first responders, and community organizations to recognize and prevent an overdose. With powerful tools like naloxone, we can reverse the effects of an overdose and save lives.

It’s crucial for King County residents to have easy access to these life-saving tools and be prepared to act when needed. Our trainings, led by healthcare professionals, social workers, and other experts in the field, cover a range of topics, including:

  • The signs and symptoms of an overdose.
  • How to assess the situation and respond appropriately.
  • How to administer naloxone, a medication used to reverse an opioid overdose.

Free trainings for the public

On June 7, from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm, Public Health will host a live, remote overdose prevention training for the community at large. You can register here. This training is the second quarterly training that began in March of 2023. If you miss this training, you can participate in the next one since they happen every three months. These hour-long trainings cover updates on drug trends and how to be prepared to respond to an overdose, including the types of treatments available, how to start a conversation around overdose and training in overdose prevention. For more information, please visit our Overdose Prevention and Response page or email us at: overdose@kingcounty.gov.

Other trainings that Public Health conducts are:

Community-based organizations expand their expertise with train-the-trainer model

Free Fentanyl test strips box displayed at a train-the-trainer model training.
Free Fentanyl test strips box displayed at a train-the-trainer model training.

Public Health works with community-based organizations to deliver trainings on opioids and drug use. The goal is to address the overrepresentation of people of color and homeless individuals in overdose deaths in King County. The trainings are designed to meet community partners’ needs that reach diverse cultural and linguistic communities across the county.

The train-the-trainer model focuses on building community expertise, harm reduction best practices, teaching participants to recognize and respond to an overdose, and reducing the stigma associated with substance use disorder. If you work with a community-based agency and are interested in training your staff that serves individuals at risk of overdose, please email overdose@kingcounty.gov.

Trainings for Service Providers

Service providers who work at homeless services sites and at-risk individuals have been attending monthly trainings hosted by Public Health’s Healthcare for the Homeless Network. These trainings provide essential tools and knowledge to recognize signs of overdose and take appropriate action. In addition, the trainings equip providers with the latest overdose trends, naloxone, and information on connecting individuals to treatment.

“We’ve had a lot of turnover among frontline staff in recent years, and it takes time to develop skills and knowledge to recognize overdose right away and learn how to respond. With in-person trainings, we can give them knowledge and practice, so they build confidence, as well making connections to a network of service providers they can rely on for support,” said Semone Andu, Regional Health Administrator for Health Care for the Homeless Network at Public Health – Seattle & King County. 

For additional resources, please visit stopoverdose.org  — Keep yourself up to date by visiting our website: kingcounty.gov/overdose.

Originally published 6/5/2023