Construction, R.I. Convention Center staff undergo naloxone training

PROVIDENCE – As opioid overdoses continue to claim lives throughout the region, some businesses are training their staff on how to recognize and respond to someone experiencing an overdose, as well as providing employees with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone.

Gilbane Building Co. has announced that its Rhode Island project sites are now stocked with naloxone. The effort is part of a partnership between the company and the Naloxone and Overdose Prevention Education program of the Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team and the Rhode Island Medical Reserve Corp.

Gilbane employees working in Rhode Island were trained earlier this year on the use and administration of naloxone by Erin McDonough, overdose prevention education director for the R.I. Department of Health.

Staff at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and the R.I. Convention Center also learned how to use naloxone in mid-April.

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The training comes as NaloxBox distribution is spreading to more businesses and busy gathering spots in Rhode Island. NaloxBox units store naloxone in a clear plastic box, usually mounted on a wall in high-traffic areas where overdoses may be likely to occur.

NaloxBox is managed by the Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team, a nonprofit that aims to help save the lives of opioid-overdose victims by placing naloxone in public settings.

The opioid crisis has hit the construction industry particularly hard, according to Gilbane, which cited a Mass. Department of Health study that found construction workers account for more than 24% of opioid-related deaths, and are six times more likely to die of an opioid overdose than other types of workers in Massachusetts.