Drug Policy

NC Harm Reduction’s Overdose Prevention Project – A Look Back at the First Year

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.

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

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.

NC Harm Reduction Announces Community Based Overdose Prevention Project

NCHRC Announces Community Based Overdose Prevention Project

With a commitment to reduce the number of drug overdose deaths in North Carolina, the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) has created the Overdose Prevention Project (OPP). The OPP is a legal community-based overdose prevention training and naloxone distribution program. The program provides naloxone, a safe and effective drug with no abuse potential that reverses opioid overdose, to people at high risk of overdose and those who are likely to witness such an overdose. Although the OPP will travel statewide, it will be initially focused in Asheville, the Triangle and Fayetteville.

The stigma of drug overdose: a mother’s story

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.

McCrory signs "911 Good Samaritan" bill into law

McCrory Signs 911 Good Samaritan/Naloxone Access Bill

On Tuesday, April 9th, Governor McCrory signed Senate Bill 20 (SB20), Good Samaritan Law/Naloxone Access, into law, effective immediately. In an effort to reduce drug overdose fatalities in North Carolina, 911 Good Samaritan law provides limited criminal immunity from prosecution charges for less than one gram of drugs or paraphernalia to people who call 911 to report an overdose. The immunity also applies to underage drinkers who seek help for alcohol poisoning. In North Carolina, more than half of drug overdoses occur in the presence of another person, yet in most cases, witnesses are afraid to call for help for fear of police and criminal repercussions for drug possession. 911 Good Samaritan laws place the importance of human life above arrest for small amounts of drugs in order to encourage overdose witnesses to seek help.

Prescription Drug Abuse in the Military

Prescription Drug Abuse in the Military

by Tessie Castillo, NC Harm Reduction Coalition

Jeremy battled depression and drug addiction for years before his wife’s announcement of her pregnancy jolted him onto the path to recovery. But Jeremy’s battle with prescription painkillers didn’t start with youthful experimentation or covert exchanges with street dealers. He got his drugs from the military.

A Sergeant and combat medic, Jeremy sustained a shoulder injury during his second tour in Afghanistan. A military provider prescribed him Percocet, a strong opiate for pain relief. At first Jeremy used the pills to relieve physical pain, but as the injury healed, he continued to seek out medication to alleviate the emotional pain of combat duty.

Saving lives from drug overdose death with simple solutions

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.

New NC Video on Opiate Overdose Mortality Prevention

Harm Reductionists Talk about Opiate Overdose Mortality Prevention

The video can be found at the following link:
http://vimeo.com/51111302

(Because of the detailed animated infographics in this video, it is recommended that it be played at full-screen size.)

When Bad Laws Cost Lives: The Case for 911 Good Samaritan Laws in NC

When Bad Laws Cost Lives: The Case for 911 Good Samaritan Laws in NC: Interview with Chad Sanders, Who Lost a Sister to Overdose

Few experiences are more painful than the sudden passing of a family member. For Chad Sanders, a nurse in Durham, North Carolina, the pain is sharp and fresh as the seven-year anniversary of his sister’s death approaches this November. Chad lost his little sister, 19-year-old Shelly Sanders, to a drug overdose in 2005. He remembers her as a beautiful, spontaneous young woman who loved adventure, travel, dancing, and helping others. She died in her student dorm room in Asheville amidst piles of books and clothes and study guides for exams she’d never take. The most painful part of this loss, other than the fact that he’ll never see her again, is knowing that Shelly’s death was preventable.

Alcohol and the Law in North Carolina (Know Your Rights)

Alcohol and the Law in North Carolina (Know Your Rights)
Guest Blog by Natalie Rich

Getting an alcohol citation can be expensive, embarrassing, and downright frustrating. Many students can easily minimize their risk of getting a drinking ticket by becoming informed. So, before you make any decisions about purchasing or drinking alcohol, make sure you know the law; know the consequences; and know your rights.

Know the Law:
It is ILLEGAL to….
• Purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol if you are under 21. This includes attempting to order a drink at a bar or purchasing beer at a grocery store

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