Submitted by NC Harm Reducti... on Thu, 09/12/2013 - 12:44pm
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.
Submitted by NC Harm Reducti... on Thu, 09/05/2013 - 9:26am
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.
Submitted by robert_childs on Fri, 08/23/2013 - 8:11am
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 NC Harm Reducti... on Thu, 08/01/2013 - 1:26pm
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.
Submitted by robert_childs on Mon, 05/27/2013 - 7:37pm
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 NC Harm Reducti... on Tue, 03/19/2013 - 2:08pm
Liz Perkins was thrilled when her first child was a boy. She named him John, after his father and grandfather, and throughout his childhood years he was an adorable, active baby who climbed out of his crib early and got into everything.
John did well in school and was always the life of every party. But in college, a series of stressful events lead him to experiment with drugs, particularly opiate pain relievers like Percocet and Oxycontin.
Liz was shocked when she realized her little boy was addicted to drugs. “I spent every waking minute getting him help,” she says. “He and I had a close relationship. He was smart and had his whole life ahead of him and I couldn’t believe this was happening to us. I felt scared and alone.”
Submitted by robert_childs on Thu, 12/13/2012 - 12:06pm
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.
Submitted by NC Harm Reducti... on Mon, 11/26/2012 - 5:21pm
Interview with Anne Lamberti, Clinical Addiction Specialist
Add one more voice to the clamor for 911 Good Samaritan laws in North Carolina: substance abuse counselors. 911 Good Samaritan laws, which would allow witnesses to a drug overdose to call for help by removing criminal liability for drug possession for the victim and the caller, are gaining traction among the addictions treatment community. And who better to comment on drug policy than the professionals who face a parade of broken lives every day?
Anne Lamberti is a licensed clinical addiction specialist at Southlight Judicial Services in Wake County, North Carolina. She sees firsthand the devastation that drug addiction can cause. But she sees something else equally disturbing – people being arrested after calling 911 to save someone’s life.
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