BLONTVILLE, Tennessee (WJHL) — Wednesday is International Overdose Awareness Day, and our community advocates are taking action to prevent people from starting drugs and help others find recovery. Is working.
Supporters of the Sullivan County Anti-Drug Coalition say everyone is susceptible to overdose. has no face. They say certain factors can make people more sensitive.
Alice McCaffrey, director of the Sullivan County Anti-Drug Coalition, said, “It changes the brain, and the substance changes the brain and kills your own dopamine response.” , things that might excite you no longer come naturally.”
McCaffrey said what people need to understand is a health issue, not a choice, that can affect anyone in their community.
“So many people came in there because of medical conditions,” McCaffrey said. “There are people who had terrible childhoods. We call them adverse childhood experiences. And it’s very likely that you’ll start covering all your pain with substances.”
McCaffrey said there has been an increase in overdoses and drug use in the community in recent years.
According to the Tennessee Department of Health in 2020, there were 3,032 drug overdose deaths in the state. His 60 of them were in Sullivan County alone.
The Coalition offers prevention programs to keep teenagers from trying drugs. Educate parents and their teens about the risks of drugs and fentanyl.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl can increase the risk of overdose, especially if someone is unaware they are taking it. Multiple doses of naloxone can be administered.
“It only takes a few grains of salt to kill someone,” McCaffrey said. “At the very least, if Narcan isn’t available, or not enough Narcan is available, you should overdose.”
Beyond prevention, the coalition offers three intervention programs and works to pair people with Certified Peer Recovery Specialists (CPRS) with experience in addiction and recovery.
Stephanie Myers, CPRS for the Sullivan County Anti-Drug Coalition, said:
Myers now uses her experience to guide people to recovery.
“That experience helps nurture this connection,” Myers said. “And when we start to feel connected to each other, it helps build that support system and can keep us away from substance-abusing lifestyles.”
Myers said he wants to help break down stereotypes about addiction and can help start with how the community talks about it.
“A lot of people turn their noses at addicts because they still believe it’s a choice,” Myers said. I encourage people to try to understand that they do their own research.”
McCaffrey recommends that anyone with a loved one struggling with addiction keep naloxone on hand.
You can order the kit from their website.