5HF Offering Free Narcan Kits to Combat Opioid Crisis
In collaboration with 5 Healthy Towns Foundation (5HF), Chelsea Wellness Center is now offering free fentanyl testing strips and Narcan nasal spray to the community to address the increasing opioid overdose crisis. Narcan is the brand name for naloxone, a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
A recent release from 5HF stated, “Opioid overdoses and drug poisonings are on the rise. Accidental overdoses occur because some drugs are illegally laced with fentanyl, or some residents mix pain medications not knowing that harm may occur.”
The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns that the drug supply has rapidly changed, looking like medications bought online or shared among friends and family members, potentially containing fentanyl or other potent illicit substances, resulting in a higher risk of overdose. As opioid overdoses and drug poisonings continue to rise, 5HF has partnered with the Recovery Opioid Overdose Team (ROOT) and Home of New Vision (https://homeofnewvision.org/) to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid use and to promote harm reduction measures for both youth and adults.
According to 5HF CEO Steve Petty, "Raising awareness about and reducing the stigma of alcohol and other substances is supported by One Big Thing, an initiative in partnership with mental health community organizations. Narcan is on our radar because of the rising trends in drug-related deaths and naloxone administrations by Emergency Medical Service (EMS) professionals in our region. By making Narcan available, any parent, friend, or relative can add this to their home first aid kit and be better prepared to respond to drug poisoning or overdose. We hope to save a life by making Narcan more available in our community.”
It is crucial to be able to recognize signs of drug addiction. Major indicators may include drastic changes in behavior, neglecting personal hygiene, sudden weight loss, and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. Additionally, drug addicts may display secretive behavior, mood swings, and financial problems.
5HF points out that in the past decade, opioid overdoses have increased by 400% nationwide. In Washtenaw County, between January 2018 and February 2023, there were 457 suspected drug-related deaths, and EMS providers administered Naloxone 1,637 times, including 66 occurrences in Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Grass Lake, and Scio Township.
To learn more about how to administer Narcan and identify an opioid overdose, scan the QR code provided by the Chelsea Wellness Center to access a quick naloxone training video on YouTube.
The Narcan supply box is located at 14800 E. Old US-12 in front of the 5HF office. For more information, contact Matt Pegouskie or Lori Kintz at 734-433-4599.
Photo by NEXT Distro on Unsplash