harm reduction

Recovery Organization Meets People Where They Are At

Get To Know Your Southern Harm Reduction Heroes: Gerald Scott

by Andi DeRoin

At the beginning of 2014, I sat down with Gerald Scott, co-founder and executive director of the Asheville Recovery Group (ARG). Mr. Scott was kind enough to share about his career experiences with harm reduction and the recovery movement, especially the unique sober living environment offered at ARG. Read on to learn how the passage of the Senate Bill 20 has affected recovery in North Carolina.

Q. Can you tell me about how the recovery movement and harm reduction intersect?

For us, the idea of harm reduction is very broad, and the people who come to our agency have already run the gamut of substance use or alcohol use. We serve the segment of the population who have already decided that they cannot do this successfully and they need help. Our clients don’t know how to keep that sobriety commitment to themselves.

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.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

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.”

The Science of Drug Overdose: Interview with Dr. Dasgupta

Interview with Dr. Nabarun Dasgupta, Scientist at Epidemico and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
By Tessie Castillo

If you work on overdose prevention in North Carolina, chances are you’ve heard the name Nabarun Dasgupta. From helping to found one of those most successful overdose prevention programs in the nation to delving into research on black market prices for prescription drugs, Nab has his fingers in all pieces of the pie. But he’s more than just a scientist or epidemiologist. Dasgupta may enjoy combing through matrices of poisoning data, but he also uses his findings to launch programs and interventions so that statistics are not just numbers on a spreadsheet, but life-saving tools to prevent overdose.

TC: Describe your work in overdose prevention in North Carolina over the years.

NC nonprofit starts dispensing life-saving antidote for drug overdose

On August 1, 2013, the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition’s (NCHRC) Overdose Prevention Project (OPP) began dispensing naloxone in North Carolina as part of community-based overdose prevention training program. This program has been made possible under SB20, otherwise known as the “911 Good Samaritan/Naloxone Access” law. By this law, the NCHRC Medical Director, Dr. Logan Graddy, under a standing order, provides naloxone and supplies to administer the medications for patients or families of patients at high risk for overdose who have completed a NCHRC community-based overdose prevention training program.

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.

NC Harm Reduction Coalition plans statewide Overdose Awareness Day events

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.

Interview with NC's overdose-prevention hero

North Carolina’s recent passage of the 911 Good Samaritan / Naloxone Access law was a ground-breaking achievement in drug overdose prevention. The law passed through the combined efforts of local nonprofits, lawmakers, public health advocates and community members affected by overdose, and no one person could claim credit for an act which will surely save thousands of lives in North Carolina.

But there was one person who has been working behind the scenes in overdose prevention for over 10 years and whose research and advocacy helped lay the ground work for this legislation and future efforts. Though you don’t see her name much in the papers, Kay Sanford, retired State Injury Epidemiologist, is one of the heroes of overdose prevention advocacy in North Carolina.

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.

Syndicate content