Author: Alexis Jones August 3, 2022 LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Members of Vocal Kentucky gathered at Jefferson Square Park Wednesday to share their "roadmap to ending drug overdoses." Their plan includes funding for housing, better access to services and treatment and stopping the criminalization of drug use. "When you provide people the tools, the education, the support and environment to be able to take care of themselves, they do," member Jennifer Twyman said. According to a report from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, 2,250 people died from drug overdoses in 2021 in the commonwealth. One inmate at Louisville Metro Correction also died from a suspected fentanyl overdose in July. "Why did the numbers go up? Why did the overdosing numbers go up when we have access? Why are children overdosing and we're not talking about," another member, Shreeta Waldon, said. Members of Vocal Kentucky said they can't watch another person die from drug abuse. The group's director, Shameka Parrish-Wright, said she is going to meet with Mayor Greg Fischer Thursday to create a plan to end overdosing in the city.
July 11, 2022, 9:37 AM PDT By Kerry Breen As the overdose crisis in the United States continues — more than 100,000 people died of overdose in 2021, a new record — the practice of harm reduction is gaining new traction as a possible solution to the crisis. Harm reduction in the United States is widely acknowledged to have begun in the late 1980s, when syringe exchange programs were established at the state and local level. Since then, decades of research have shown that harm reduction techniques are an important way to help people who use drugs. What is harm reduction? Harm reduction is broadly defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as an approach that "emphasizes engaging directly with people who use drugs" and works to "improve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of those served" by offering various forms of care. José Benitez, the executive director at Prevention Point, a harm reduction program in Philadelphia, called the approach "a philosophy" that "strives to meet people where they are." "Some people are ready for treatment, some people are not, and no matter where they are in that spectrum, harm reduction is to meet people where they are," Benitez said. " We're not so focused all the time on the drug use, (which we see as) just part of people’s lives. We really get to focus on the healthcare issues ... in a non-judgmental fashion." Harm reduction doesn't apply to just drug use: Experts interviewed for this story also said the tenets [...]
International Overdose Awareness Day is coming up and Landmark Recovery is creating a campaign to commemorate the people we've lost. If you've lost someone, and would like to be a part of this campaign to honor their memory, email Tara.Barone@Landmarkrecovery.com the following: Digital headshot/photo Their name and age of passing Short statement about the individual. Deadline for submissions is AUG 15. No one's ever really gone.
On June 13, the Commonwealth of Kentucky released the 2021 Drug Overdose Report. The results are devastating, if not surprising. 2,250 Kentuckians died from drug overdoses in 2021, a 14.5% increase compared to 2020. Increased use of fentanyl was the largest contributor to the rise in the death toll, with approximately 70% of all overdose deaths attributed to fentanyl. This yearly increase cannot become normalized. Every percentage point is a human being, a family broken, community rocked to its core. We have to do better. For more information, click HERE for the official release.
What Is Narcan and How Does It Stop Opioid Overdoses? A kit containing naloxone, the opioid overdose antidote that the surgeon general is advising more Americans to keep nearby.CreditHiroko Masuike/The New York Times By Elizabeth Dias and Annie Correal April 6, 2018 The United States surgeon general issued a rare national advisory on Thursday urging more Americans to carry naloxone, a drug used to revive people overdosing on opioids. The last time a surgeon general issued such an urgent warning to the country was in 2005, when Richard H. Carmona advised women not to drink alcohol when pregnant. What is naloxone? Naloxone is a medication designed to immediately reverse an opioid overdose. It blocks the brain’s opioid receptors and restores normal breathing in people who have overdosed on fentanyl, heroin or prescription painkillers. Its effects last for 30 to 90 minutes, which ideally buys enough time to get medical attention. Who should carry the drug? “Active drug users, people who live with or love drug users, and people on methadone or buprenorphine, who are often coming out of treatment and know people at high risk of overdose,” said Robert Childs, executive director of the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition in Wilmington, N.C. The surgeon general also listed patients who take high doses of prescribed opioids. People who are coming out of prison or detox programs should carry the drug, because detox lowers tolerance, Mr. Childs said. Those who work in places where there are public bathrooms or where drug users congregate, such as [...]
Bleak New Estimates in Drug Epidemic: A Record 72,000 Overdose Deaths in 2017 Fentanyl is a big culprit, but there are also encouraging signs from states that have prioritized public health campaigns and addiction treatment. By Margot Sanger-Katz Aug. 15, 2018 Drug overdoses killed about 72,000 Americans last year, a record number that reflects a rise of around 10 percent, according to new preliminary estimates from the Centers for Disease Control. The death toll is higher than the peak yearly death totals from H.I.V., car crashes or gun deaths. Analysts pointed to two major reasons for the increase: A growing number of Americans are using opioids, and drugs are becoming more deadly. It is the second factor that most likely explains the bulk of the increased number of overdoses last year. The picture is not equally bleak everywhere. In parts of New England, where a more dangerous drug supply arrived early, the number of overdoses has begun to fall. That was the case in Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island; each state has had major public health campaigns and has increased addiction treatment. Preliminary 2018 numbers from Massachusetts suggest that the death rate there may be continuing to fall. But nationwide, the crisis worsened in the first year of the Trump presidency, a continuation of a long-term trend. During 2017, the president declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency, and states began tapping a $1 billion grant program to help fight the problem. “Because it’s a drug epidemic as opposed to an [...]