International Overdose Awareness Day is an opportunity to remember the people we have lost to overdose. It is also a call to action.
Overdose deaths can be prevented if people know how to recognize and respond to an overdose. Naloxone (narcan) is one of the important tools that we have to prevent overdose deaths. In the past decade, more than 50,000 people have been trained to recognize and respond to an overdose and given naloxone rescue kits resulting in over 10,000 overdose rescues.
However, right now there are some major problems:
- There is a naloxone shortage, which is contributing to increasing naloxone prices
- Overdose prevention programs don’t have enough money to buy the huge volume of naloxone that people are requesting to save lives
- There is no federal funding for naloxone programs and the number of philanthropic organizations that fund programs can be counted on one hand
Your donation is TAX DEDUCTIBLE when you donate via the PayPal option! YOU MUST CHOOSE PAYPAL WHEN YOU DONATE IF YOU'D LIKE YOUR DONATION TO BE TAX DEDUCTIBLE.
Your donation will go directly to purchasing the naloxone. The first naloxone distribution program in the country, the Chicago Recovery Alliance (CRA), has provided technical assistance and/or start up support to nearly every existing program in the country. This year, CRA doesn’t have enough funds to purchase the volume of naloxone necessary to meet the demand. This fundraising campaign is our opportunity to appreciate the breadth of CRA’s work and to ensure that CRA continues to be able to provide the same level of naloxone access as in years past. We need a lot more than $10,000 to buy all the naloxone we need. Since this is the first time we have tried to raise money directly from the community and because indiegogo will charge 9% if we don’t actually meet our goal, we chose a figure that is about 20% of the amount necessary. So, if we surpass this goal, the money will still go directly to purchasing naloxone. To receive a tax deduction, donate via the PayPal option.
Other stuff you can do to expand naloxone access & prevent overdose:
- Ask your local public health department about naloxone distribution programs- suggest that they begin one. This is a website with good information. If overdose is a problem in your community (which it probably is!) the public health department is the organization that should be addressing it.
- Talk with your doctor about prescribing naloxone. S/he might not be familiar with the practice, but here is a lot of good information for prescribers. Also, the American Medical Association just adopted a policy in favor of community based naloxone distribution pilot projects.
- Write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper about International Overdose Awareness Day, the overdose epidemic and ways to prevent fatal overdoses, such as naloxone distribution programs.
- If you have any connections with philanthropic organizations, encourage them to fund overdose prevention programs. Overdose is the #1 cause of injury related deaths in the country- more than car crashes, drowning, fire arm deaths.
Are you scared, frustrated, heartbroken and/or angry?
Consider joining a group for families concerned about overdose like Learn To Cope, Broken No More, Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing (GRASP), all of which have many chapters and forums for support on-line.
Want to know more?
We are happy to talk more off line, too! Leave contact info in the comments section, make your comment private if you don't want others to see your contact info.
Find out about International Overdose Awareness Day events around the globe here
Find the overdose prevention and naloxone distribution program closest to you here