Wayne County teaching the public how to revive someone from an overdose

To date the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority has helped train and equip nearly 3,000 local first-responders with life-saving opioid overdose kits. Beginning today the group is expanding the operation to include members of the public as the opioid epidemic continues to gut the region.

Narcan is an FDA approved substance that has been proven to reverse opioid overdoses and save lives. Legislation signed into law last year made it possible for the drug to be sold over-the-counter in Michigan without a prescription, and some pharmacies now sell Narcan.

"The education, training and distribution of Narcan kits in the community in Wayne County is essential to save lives,” said Darlene Owens, Director of Substance Use Disorders at DWMHA. “Narcan is a safe substance that reverses the effects of opioids on the brain and respiratory system in order to prevent opioid overdose deaths and get help to those individuals struggling with addiction.”

Prescription drug misuse is considered a serious problem in the state of Michigan. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services notes that more than 11 million prescription painkillers were handed out in 2015 — a breakdown that equates to more prescriptions than people in the state. The data comes as overdose deaths increased 17-fold between 1999 and 2016, many of those overdose deaths occurring in Wayne County.

As the country continues to explore options to stop the opioid epidemic, local governments are getting more involved. A number of municipalities are currently suing drug manufacturers at the same time the President is exploring new venues to combat the problem on a national scale. In the meantime groups like the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority are on the frontline trying to prepare community leaders for encounters with potential opioid overdose victims.

Tuesday’s event will be held at the Detroit Recover Project, but was so well received it was sold-out. Follow-up events are expected in the near future.

The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority provides prevention, treatment and recovery services for substance use, offered through various providers throughout Detroit and Wayne County. These services are available 365 days a year and have one central access point through our 24Hr Crisis Helpline 800-241-4949 or visit www.dwmha.com for additional information. Programs are available to men, women and children. 

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