NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Amid the parades and the fun of Carnival season, officials warn of a silent killer that is on the streets of the Big Easy.

“Folks come to enjoy the parades but there certainly are more of them that might be using,” that’s Dr. Jennifer Avegno talking about people using drugs.

In 2021 there was 492 overdose death in New Orleans. Dr. Avegnor says during Mardi Gras there is typically a high number of overdoses.

“We know our hospitality partners are often the first ones that might interface with someone who might have used or perhaps overdoses,” Dr. Avegeno added.

That’s why training on how to administer Narcan was held for members of the New Orleans hospitality industry.

“Anytime we have guests that present themselves in ways that may not be safe we want to make sure these people are enjoying themselves having a good time without endangering themselves or anyone else,” said hospitality worker Devin Ball.

Participants were given a kit with two doses of Narcan and taught how to identify if someone is ODing. A key sign is if their lips are blue or gray and they are unresponsive.

With it being one of the busiest times of year for restaurants and bars, Ball plans on having his kit ready to go.

“We have encountered situations where we have had guests that pass out or be lightheaded due to substance they might be using so it’s important for us and all my team to have Narcan on us,” said Ball.

If you’re interested in getting a Narcan kit contact the health department.

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