Friday, August 1, 2014 - 8:35am

NCHRC’s Overdose Prevention Project – A Look Back at the First Year

This August 1st 2014 marks one year since the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) officially launched the Overdose Prevention Project (OPP). The OPP focuses on the dual goals of educating the public on overdose prevention and response and providing overdose prevention kits containing naloxone, a medication that reverses drug overdose from opioids such as methadone, heroin, and prescription painkillers.

With opioid overdose fatalities claiming over 1000 lives a year in North Carolina and slated to become the state’s leading cause of unintentional injury death by 2017, it is necessary to implement a common sense solution to the problem. Enter, naloxone, a medication simple and easy enough to be administered even by people with no medical training. In one short year NCHRC’s naloxone program has grown from a handful of distributors to over 20 volunteer dispensers in 16 counties across the state.

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Friday, January 17, 2014 - 1:12pm

NC Harm Reduction Coalition’s Overdose Prevention Program Shows Successful Impact, Receives National Attention

The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) is saving lives and bringing overdose victims back from the brink of death with its community-based Overdose Prevention Program (OPP). On April 9th, 2013, North Carolina passed one of the most comprehensive drug overdose prevention laws in the country called the “911 Good Samaritan and Naloxone Access Bill.” Also known as SB20, NCHRC which advocated for this bill’s passage, quickly acted to disseminate and implement this life-saving law. The OPP provides free overdose reversal kits and training to those likely to experience or witness an overdose. “Since the OPP became fully operational on August 1st, NCHRC has dispensed close to 550 overdose rescues kits, and 35 lay individuals have reported they successfully administered naloxone, the antidote for opiate overdose, and saved someone’s life,” stated NCHRC’s Executive Director Robert Childs.

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Friday, November 22, 2013 - 2:13pm

Transgender Day of Remembrance
by Loftin Wilson

On November 20th, 2013, as night falls, people all over the world will gather by candlelight and read a list of names. The people on this list lived all over the world, from Istanbul to Brazil to Florida to Wisconsin. They were of all ages, some as young as thirteen. Their lives were all very different, but they are all on this list for one reason -- sometime during the last year, each of them lost their life because of anti-transgender hate violence.

People who are transgender -- people whose gender identity or gender presentation is different from or more complex than the sex they were assigned at birth -- live all over the world, in every culture and every country. We exist in every community and every walk of life. And even though data about the lives of transgender people is consistently under- and mis-reported, it is clear that people who are transgender or gender-nonconforming (and people who are perceived to be) experience violence at disproportionate, disturbing rates. One recent analysis concluded that “the majority of transgender people will experience violence in their lifetimes, and that risk for violence starts at an early age.”

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 8:42pm

NC Harm Reduction Coalition Plans Statewide Overdose Awareness Day Events

August 31st 2013 is national Overdose Awareness Day, a time to commemorate loved ones lost from accidental drug overdose. In North Carolina, drug overdose claims over 1100 lives each year and is on track to surpass motor vehicle fatalities by 2017. The majority of the overdose deaths involve prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin, Percocet and Fentanyl and almost all are preventable with the proper tools and training. North Carolina recently passed a new law, SB20: 911 Good Samaritan/Naloxone Access law, to reduce premature deaths from overdose.

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Monday, May 27, 2013 - 8:37pm

The Stigma of Drug Overdose: A Mother’s Story

Denise Cullen has lived through one of the worst tragedies a mother can experience – losing a child. But if there is anything worse than losing a child, it is losing a child to a drug overdose, because grief is accompanied by stigma and blame.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 1:06pm

Saving Lives with Simple Solutions
by Allison Glasser

Seven years ago, Durham resident Chad Sanders lost his sister, Shelly, to drug overdose. Shelly had been using drugs with a friend in her dorm room when she became unresponsive. Her friend, recently released from jail on parole, did not call 911 for fear that he could be arrested for drug possession. Shelly didn’t make it through the night. Unfortunately, Shelly’s story is far too common. Drug overdose deaths have surpassed automobile deaths as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. In North Carolina, antiquated laws and practices lead to over 1000 preventable overdose deaths each year. It’s time we do something about it.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 9:40am

Drug overdose deaths in the United States have increased fivefold since 1990, claiming the lives of 27,658 Americans in 2007. After motor vehicle accidents, drug overdose is the second leading cause of injury death in the United States. In 2009, there were approximately 1,000 fatal drug overdoses in North Carolina, and nearly one-half occurred in people under the age of 40.

Harm reduction programs can help to prevent overdose fatalities by conducting education with drug users on risk factors for overdose, signs of an overdose, and how to respond to save a victim.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 9:45am

Reducing Harm and Building Communities: Addressing Drug Use in the South

On September 8th and 9th, 2011, around 200 people from all corners of the South converged in Durham, NC for the first conference to discuss issues surrounding drug use, sex work and harm reduction in their communities. The attendees represented many groups including representatives of the military, law enforcement, Republicans and Democrats the North Carolina House of Representatives, outreach workers, health professionals, academics, sex workers, people of transgender experience and drug users.

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