By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia will offer free training for the general public on how to administer Narcan, the opioid antidote that prevents overdose deaths. The city is hoping to halt an alarming rise in fatal overdoses.

Philadelphia had more than 900 overdose deaths in 2016 — triple the homicide rate. It’s on track to see more than 1,200 in 2017.

“We have to put the brakes on and reverse this trend,” said Deputy Behavioral Health Commissioner Roland Lamb.

Lamb says the city is pursuing a number of strategies, but training the general public to administer Narcan is one important step.

“As we have more people who can actively participate in overdose reversal, hopefully we can save more lives and reduce the number of overdoses that are continuing to escalate,” he said.

The training is being offered from 10 a.m. to noon at 801 Market Street, one Wednesday each month through the end of the year. Direct service providers who take the course will get a Narcan kit, others will get a standing prescription for the drug. The first session is this Wednesday, September 20.

Click here to register: