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Article updated: 12/1/2013 12:42 PM

Heroin overdose antidote training at addiction treatment center in Vernon Hills

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An addiction treatment center in Vernon Hills is scheduled to host the latest suburban training session on administering an antidote for heroin and other drug overdoses.

Training on how to use naloxone on someone experiencing an opioid overdose will be offered for free from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Kiva Recovery, 935 Lakeview Parkway. Nonprofit drug-awareness advocacy group Live4Lali Inc. will co-host the session.

Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko and Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim are among the officials supporting the effort.

Filenko said getting naloxone into the hands of families struggling with addiction to heroin or powerful painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet is a common-sense approach to a problem affecting all suburbs.

"It's an antidote on hand that could potentially save someone's life," said Filenko, head of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force.

Generally sold under the generic name naloxone through prescriptions, the drug counteracts the effects of the heroin and certain painkillers. It's been used for many years in hospital emergency rooms and by paramedics, but public health agencies have started giving it to addicts and their families.

Naloxone blocks certain drug receptors in the brain. The injectable and nasal spray forms that people are trained to administer don't counteract alcohol or cocaine overdoses.

Tuesday's class will be limited to 50 participants and include an overview of opioids, tips on how to recognize an overdose, guidance on handling a loved one's substance abuse and a question-and-answer period, organizers say.

In August, a naloxone training class was held as part of a rally that launched International Overdose Awareness Week. Training classes with a 50-person limit will be offered on the first Tuesday of each month at Kiva Recovery in Vernon Hills in 2014.

Registration for Tuesday's naloxone class is required at naloxonesaveslives.eventbrite.com.

Live4Lali is named in memory of Alex Laliberte, a 20-year-old who died of a heroin overdose in his mother's Buffalo Grove home in 2008. His sister, Chelsea Laliberte, started Live4Lali in 2009 to raise awareness about substance abuse in Lake County.

Twitter: @DHBobSusnjara

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