NC Harm Reduction

NC Student Overdose Awareness Events to be Held March 2014

NC Student Overdose Awareness Events to be Held March 2014

On Tuesday, March 4th and Wednesday, March 5th, the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) will be holding Student Overdose Awareness Day events on college campuses across the state. Students, faculty, officers, counselors, and advocates will gather to learn more about overdose prevention and receive naloxone rescue kits free of charge from NCHRC, a grassroots public health non-profit.

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 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.

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.

North Carolina Overdose Prevention Summit

Feb 5 2013 8:30 am

North Carolina Overdose Prevention Summit

Come and show your support for overdose prevention in NC and to find out why NC needs a 911 Good Samaritan and naloxone access law.

Featured speakers:

  • Detective Gary Martin, Palm Beach County, FL Sheriff's Office
  • Florida Sheriff's Association
  • North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition
  • NC Legislators Concerned About Drug Overdose
  • Project Lazarus

Event Registration
To register, please click here.

Event Info
Legislative Building
16 Jones St.
Raleigh, NC 27601
9:00am - 12:00pm

Check-in begins at 8:00am
Light refreshments will be provided

Directions & Parking

Interview on Preventing Needle Sticks with Graham McKinnon, CEO of Protective Outfitters

Interview with Graham McKinnon, CEO of Protective Outfitters
Samantha Korb, NCHRC Intern

When I spoke to Graham McKinnon, CEO of Protective Outfitters, I came across with the feeling that there is no one more invested in not only his business, but in his innovative and lifesaving product, the Ampel Probe. “The Ampel Probe is a hand held tool most closely resembling a pair of large pliers and is used to safely pick up materials that could potentially harm the public, like syringes”. Protective Outfitters, the company started by McKinnon, specializes in this tool that helps protect the lives of professionals in a variety of industries, including law enforcement, first responders, forensic teams and many more communities. McKinnon says “the Ampel Probe is a device that customers have stated protect users from sharps injuries and their associated from diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C.”

Syringe Decriminalization: Diabetics Need Syringes Too

Syringe Decriminalization: Diabetics Need Syringes Too

Syringe Decriminalization: Diabetics Need Syringes Too
As a diabetic, not having a clean syringe available for insulin injections is scary. I remember one time when I was visiting my parents and had forgotten to bring a clean syringe. My blood sugar was rising rapidly and I feared I would not be able to get insulin in my body fast enough to stop it from reaching a potentially deadly level. My partner and I frantically searched my car in hopes that somewhere I had stored a used syringe to be properly disposed of later. I was so frustrated that I had the insulin in my hand but without a means to inject the life-saving medication. When we eventually found one, the idea of a used syringe reentering my body felt strange, even if I knew I was the only person who had ever used it. I wondered how difficult it would be to force myself to use a syringe with an unknown history.

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