Saving Lives with NARCAN: Sydrena Tufts

Saving Lives with NARCAN: Sydrena Tufts 1Recovery Coach Sydrena Tufts has saved not just one life using NARCAN® but two.

Last year, she administered Narcan in the court room after a woman showed up to court with multiple drugs in her system and passed out. Narcan is one of the few drugs capable of reversing the symptoms of an opioid overdose. This could include prescriptions for opioid pain medication, heroin, fentanyl, and more.

And then the opportunity arose again last week. Tufts saw a nurse running to a client’s room at another facility for substance use disorder. Most people there also use opioids.

The tips of the young man’s fingers, hands, and wrist were purple. His eyes were glossy. Although his heart rate was fast, Tufts said he wasn’t really breathing. He took faint breaths after she massaged his chest and back, but it wasn’t enough.

“My Higher Power said Narcan, opioid overdose, so I ran to my car to get my doses of Narcan,” Tufts related. “I was on a mission. I was running like my track days in high school!”

She gave him a dose of Narcan in his nostrils and massaged him again. The pills were stuck in his airwaves. He gurgled and went out again. She administered another dose. And then another dose, waiting a few minutes between each one. She pumped his chest seven or eight times in the area she could hear a rumbling noise. Then he started coughing and came to.

Tufts said the experience was emotional. The clinical director thanked her and said, “Sydrena, you saved his life.” Tufts said she never second-guessed it wouldn’t work.

“I wasn’t going to give up,” she related.

Tufts never dreamed she would save someone’s life after she attended the eight-hour Medicated Assisted Treatment (MAT) training required of Houston Recovery Center recovery coaches last year.

“I don’t always know what to do, but under pressure, everything I had been taught at the sobering center came into play,” Tufts said. “I was really grateful to have Narcan in my car.”

If you would like to get free Narcan or Narcan training from Houston Recovery Center, get more information here.