BENEFITING: COMMUNITY HEALTH AWARENESS GROUP
ORGANIZER: COMMUNITY HEALTH AWARENESS GROUP
COMMUNITY HEALTH AWARENESS GROUP wrote -
Every day you hear about:
- the rising use of heroin and other opioid drugs
- deaths from accidental overdose
- new drugs and treatments
- proposed legislation
- how we can work together to combat the problem.
Community Health Awareness Group’s (CHAG) Overdose Prevention and Training Program successfully addresses this problem, but needs your financial support to tackle this community emergency. Fifty-five dollars will buy one naloxone overdose kit and save at least one life.
Funding for this program is a critical need right now. We can’t show you the faces of those who are likely to overdose, but look around you. They are your friends and family members, whether you live in the city or the suburbs.
Heroin and other opiate overdose has become a disturbing and under-reported trend in Detroit. Illegal drug use has skyrocketed in five years, as an alternative to higher-priced, and illegally obtained, prescription drugs. Heroin has become more lethal, as it’s mixed with dangerous additives.
The estimated 56,325 Injecting Drug Users in Southeast Michigan don’t all live in Detroit, but they come to the city to use. Detroit serves as the primary distribution center for illicit drugs in Michigan. In 2013, thanks to the efforts of CHAG’s Life Points Harm Reduction Outreach Program, the number of drug-related deaths in Detroit has declined.
The most striking trend for heroin treatment admissions has been a continued influx of young, White, and injecting treatment clients. Young White suburbanites are abusing heroin at increasing rates.
CHAG’s Needle Exchange Program has seen significant increase young White registrants over the past 12 months; more than 40% from zip codes outside of the City of Detroit. And those who come to CHAG’s fixed site are 80% White, young and suburban.
Preventing Deaths from Overdose
Fatalities from opiate overdose are the result of central nervous and respiratory system depression that cause the person to stop breathing. Death typically occurs 1 to 3 hours after injecting heroin, offering a window of opportunity for intervention. Naloxone is an effective opiate antagonist used by medical personnel for over thirty years for emergency resuscitation. Except for potential dope sickness, the drug has no side effects and no pharmacological effect when opiates are absent.
Attorney General Eric Holder, declaring heroin addiction an “urgent and growing public health crisis,” urged first responders to carry the naloxone to help resuscitate victims from an overdose.
CHAG’s naloxone distribution program, piloted in September 2009, and fully implemented in 2010, reduced accidental heroin-related overdose deaths in Wayne County (which includes the City of Detroit) from 245 in 2009 to 190 in 2010
The Overdose Prevention Training and Distribution program teaches injecting drug users themselves to administer naloxone in case of opiate overdose. Although it doesn’t completely eliminate the need for medical intervention, the program can prevent unnecessary death from opiate overdose by allowing trained bystanders to inject naloxone immediately instead of using multiple ineffective methods to revive someone before calling 911. The program includes training on rescue breathing and other risk reduction strategies such as: how to recognize bad dope, signing pacts with their drug-using peers that include not getting high alone, and the importance of calling 911.
Donate today and help us save lives.