Opioid rescue training to be taught Saturday at Bullitt County K - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Opioid rescue training to be taught Saturday at Bullitt County KidsFest

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Jennifer Punkin-Stepp, founder of the Bullitt Opioid Addiction Team. Jennifer Punkin-Stepp, founder of the Bullitt Opioid Addiction Team.

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) –- With first aid kits packed, Jennifer Punkin-Stepp, founder of the Bullitt Opioid Addiction Team (B.O.A.T.), is preparing for KidsFest.

“We would serve ourselves well to stock these in our homes,” Punkin-Stepp told WDRB News.

Armed with these life-saving kits, Punkin-Stepp will be teaching parents and children how to use an Evzio auto injector on Saturday in Shepherdsville.

Each kit will include a CPR mask, gloves, informational material, and most importantly, the injector. The medicine can save a life after a person abuses opioids while being minutes away from death. 

“I wanted to train kids so they would grow up and not feel helpless, but feel empowered," she said. "Because we are facing a public health emergency."

As the opioid crisis rises, Punkin-Stepp hopes to break the stigma so the disease of addiction can be treated.

“When we treat it like it's a moral failing, people are ashamed, and they don't come out, and people don't get the help that they need,” Punkin-Stepp said.

The Evzio injectors can cost up to $6,000, but B.O.A.T.is giving the kits out for free. The non-profit has been running on small donations but is always accepting more donations to be able to reach more people.

Punkin-Stepp's daughter learned how to use the medicine when she was 8-years-old in case she needed to save her older brother's life as he battled his own addiction. That training could also come in handy as she gets older.

“If someone's in trouble at a high school party … I want her to be able to be the hero, not be helpless," Punkin-Stepp said. "You know, I don't want her to sit there and watch why one of her schoolmates dies and has to go to that funeral."

And while opioid rescue training can be seen as a taboo topic, Punkin-Stepp says there's nothing taboo about saving a life.

“I hope people are open to it," she said. "I'm really hoping that we're going to change some minds, and people are going to start learning how to save a life tomorrow. I'm praying for that. I really am."

KidsFest is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre in Shepherdsville.

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