Officials use movie previews to help save lives

PSA shows how to administer Narcan
Officials use movie previews to help save lives

Moviegoers at Schubert’s Luxury 10 Theatre in Beloit will soon know how to administer Narcan.

The theater has agreed to play a special public service announcement that demonstrates how to give the life-saving drug that can reverse the effects of an overdose.

“What a great way to get to the public because people are sitting there enjoying their popcorn and it’s just this educational platform for them,” general manager Hillary Kreager said.

For Kreager, who is also an emergency medical technician, it’s important to make sure both the community, and her staff, knows what to do in an emergency.

“Who’s to say someone comes in here, they might struggle with it, they might have a family member struggling with it. So if they see that, they can educate themselves,” she said. “The biggest thing is educating regular bystanders to what these things can do to save lives.”

Mercyhealth, along with police and fire personnel from around Rock County, filmed the PSA to discuss the heroin and opioid abuse problem in the county.

“It’s no secret that Rock County, like many other places, is facing an epidemic of opioid, both prescription and heroin abuse,” Dr. Christopher Wistrom, Mercyhealth associate EMS medical director, said. “The epidemic is terrible. It destroys lives. It destroys families. It affects far more than just the person that’s using.”

Officials said it’s important to show the community what they see on a daily basis.

“I hope that by using this platform, we reach out to many, many, many more people than we have before in the past,” Officer Chad Woodman, with the Janesville Police Department’s DROP program, said. “And that people see it and realize that yes, this is something that they need to do.”

Narcan can be purchased over-the-counter, which is why officials wanted to create the PSA.

“We as first responders are finding that community members are administering this medication, some of them with success and some of them without success because they are uneducated in how to give it,” Wistrom said. “We want to make sure people are aware that they can in fact give it, how to give it, how to give it properly.”

Schubert’s Luxury 10 Theatre has already been showing a PSA that demonstrates hands-only CPR since last summer.

“The goal for airing these would be for bystanders to jump in, to recognize that there is an issue and to be able to say, ‘Hey, I’ve seen something about that. I saw a PSA. I think I know what’s going on,’ and be able to help them,” Kreager said.

She said last year, 100,000 people came in to watch a movie, so the PSAs have the potential to reach a large part of the community.

“This was huge for us to start it here, and I hope it continues to grow because we want to save people. We want to be able to help people that are in need,” Kreager said.

She said the Narcan PSA, which was filmed in both English and Spanish, would play before every movie. Mercyhealth said the PSA should be ready to air around the beginning of March.

Officials hope other movie theaters around the area jump on board and want to show the previews.

“We’d like to see this PSA go nationwide, if we could, but essentially in our area, we’d really like to reach out to like Whitewater, any of the theaters in Dane County, Watertown, Stoughton, essentially, any community that has this platform that we can showcase this Narcan at,” Woodman said.

Anyone interested in airing the PSA can contact Mercyhealth at 608-756-6000.

“We, as a society, are much more open today in talking about it, which is a good step in the right direction because as soon as we can start talking about it, the sooner we can start healing,” Wistrom said.