Submitted by robert_childs on Fri, 02/28/2014 - 9:06am
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.
Submitted by robert_childs on Thu, 02/13/2014 - 8:44am
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.
Submitted by robert_childs on Fri, 01/17/2014 - 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.
Submitted by robert_childs on Fri, 11/22/2013 - 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.”
Submitted by robert_childs on Fri, 08/23/2013 - 9:11am
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.
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.
Submitted by robert_childs on Mon, 05/27/2013 - 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.
Submitted by robert_childs on Wed, 04/10/2013 - 11:21am
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.
Submitted by robert_childs on Fri, 03/22/2013 - 1:13pm
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.
Submitted by robert_childs on Thu, 12/13/2012 - 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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