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Rush Hospital program seeking to train barbers in using Narcan for opioid overdoses

Program seeks to train barbers and beauticians to use Narcan
Program seeks to train barbers and beauticians to use Narcan 01:15

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A leading Chicago health professional is on a mission to educate everyone about Narcan, the treatment that can save a life in the event of an opioid overdose.

Keisha House, assistant director of the RUSH Substance Use Disorder Center, led a community forum on Tuesday aimed at getting people to learn about and talk about opioid overdoses.

It was held at Larry's Barber College in Roseland, and for a very specific reason. House said people trust their hairdressers, and great communication takes place while in those chairs.

She wants barbers in training to talk to their clients, keep Narcan in their shops, and learn how to use it.

"When we came up with this concept for barber/beauty, some people just did not understand, right? They were trying to figure out why are you going to the barber shop and things of that nature, and I told them, I said, 'Well, my beautician know all my business. We talk about everything,'" she said. "I'm here to arm you all with knowledge to help somebody, and to save somebody's life."

The forum included a demonstration of how to use Narcan, and even advice on what to say to a 9-1-1 operator if you're witnessing an overdose.

House also is working hard to get Narcan into churches, schools, and other places where it can't already be found.

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