July 13, 2024 Donate

Washtenaw County

Washtenaw County Health Department Re-Launches Recovery and Harm Reduction Campaign

Washtenaw County Health Department is re-launching the It Is Possible campaign in partnership with Livingston, Lenawee, and Monroe Counties. The campaign highlights stories of local people in recovery to foster hope that recovery from substance use disorder is possible. The campaign also shares critical resources available within each county to reduce the harms of substance use and support recovery.

“Overdose deaths remain at high levels locally as well as across Michigan and the U.S.,” says Jimena Loveluck, MSW, health officer with Washtenaw County Health Department. “Individual paths to recovery can be very different. As a community, it’s critical for us all to be aware of tools like naloxone and fentanyl test strips that prevent deaths from accidental overdoses or cross contamination with non-opioid drugs like cocaine.”

The It Is Possible campaign works with recovery organizations and health departments in Washtenaw, Livingston, Lenawee, and Monroe to tell the stories of individuals’ recovery and provide information on ways to prevent death and overdose from opioid use. The campaign aims to spark hope that both survival and recovery are possible. The featured individuals are from the participating counties and volunteered to share their experiences.

Campaign materials include videos, social media posts, posters, billboards, magnets, stickers, pocket cards, and limited amounts of tote bags and tumblers. Posters, stickers, and pocket cards are available in English and Spanish. To request free Washtenaw materials, use this form. See a complete campaign toolkits and instructions for ordering materials for other counties here.

In addition to providing hope and resources for recovery, the campaign also includes ways to avoid overdose and death for people who use drugs.

Whenever possible:

  • Test drugs using fentanyl test strips
  • Avoid using alone and take turns when using with others
  • Take care if you have not used in a while
  • Avoid mixing drugs, including alcohol
  • Have naloxone ready and know how to use it

Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is a safe and life-saving medication designed to reverse an opioid overdose. Opioids cause death by slowing your breathing to the point it stops. Naloxone can quickly reverse this effect and helps the person to breathe again. Responding quickly is critical to preventing brain injury and death. Delays of only a few minutes may mean the difference between life and death.

Naloxone is available at multiple community locations in Washtenaw, by mail, and at pharmacies without a prescription.

There were 54 opioid-related overdose deaths among Washtenaw County residents in 2023, and 28 non-opioid related overdose deaths. Washtenaw County Health Department publishes Opioid Reports to provide information on overdose deaths and trends occurring among Washtenaw residents.

Campaign materials, information on naloxone and treatment, and local data can be found at Washtenaw.org/ItIsPossible. If you have questions about recovery or need help, call the Washtenaw County CARES team 24/7 at 734-544-3050.

Funding support for It Is Possible is provided through the Community Mental Health Partnership of Southeast Michigan and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) through a federal grant from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).