Ludlow Rotary speakers discuss responding to drug overdose

Melanie Sheehan and Astrid Bradish-Hoyt speak to members of the Ludlow Rotary Club on opioid overdosing. Photo provided
Melanie Sheehan and Astrid Bradish-Hoyt speak to members of the Ludlow Rotary Club on opioid overdosing. Photo provided

LUDLOW, Vt. – Representatives of the Mount Ascutney Hospital and Health Care Center addressed a recent luncheon meeting of the Ludlow Rotary Club on drug overdosing and death.

Melanie Sheehan and Astrid Bradish, two key members of MAHHC’s drug recovery program, stressed the fact that ”overdose death is 100% preventable – every life matters and efforts that save lives can be done by anyone and everyone.”

Their discussion focused are the key drug overdose signs and characteristics, including what an overdose is, signs of an opioid overdose, how to respond to an overdose, the use of CPR to restore normal breathing, and the use of Narcan.

Narcan, technically known as naloxone, was emphasized as a means of restoring breathing to an overdosed person. Both speakers recommended carrying Narcan especially where opioid overdosing may occur.

Melanie Sheehan is the Regional Prevention Program Manager at MAHHC and has been there for over 20 years. Her work is focused mainly on the prevention of substance use; however, more recently, she has partnered with folks in substance use treatment and recovery to help curb the rate of drug overdose death in Windsor County, which has the highest death rate in Vermont.

Astrid Bradish-Hoyt is involved with long-term recovery and works for the Turning Point Recovery Center of Springfield. She is the supervisor for the recovery coaches in the Emergency Department of MAHHC and manager of its organization grant function. Astrid also serves as co-chair of the Substance Misuse Workgroup, the hospital’s Community Health Improvement Plan.

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