Red Cross Launches First Aid for Opioid Overdoses Course

New online training helps people respond to opioid overdoses and save lives

September 22, 2018. Fayetteville, North Carolina. During the Saturday morning meeting in Fayetteville Headquarters, Julian Delgado with Health Services explains to volunteers the process of properly administering Narcan to clients who may be need it in shelters. This is the first year Red Cross shelters are arming staff and volunteers with Narcan to ensure that everyone stays safe. Photo by Daniel Cima/American Red Cross

NEW JERSEY — The American Red Cross has launched First Aid for Opioid Overdoses, an online course to teach people how to respond to a known or suspected opioid overdose.

“An opioid overdose is a life-threatening emergency,” said Rosie Taravella, CEO, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “When you suspect an opioid overdose, it’s important to start providing care immediately and knowing what to do can help save someone’s life.”

People can register and access the course by clicking here. Because an opioid overdose can lead to cardiac arrest, people are also encouraged to take a Red Cross CPR/AED course.

The Red Cross has also prepared guidance on opioid use and overdose response for those working in the organization’s shelters during disasters. Recently, these efforts empowered a Red Cross volunteer to help save the life of a person in a shelter during Hurricane Florence.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.