Overdose deaths have increased steadily over the last few decades. CDC links the surge to a higher use of prescription drugs, mainly painkillers and sedatives. The epidemic hasn't left any community untouched and prevention efforts and treatment programs are expanding everywhere. All efforts must include a multi-systemic, total community response.
One aspect of prevention that is gaining popularity across the country is stopping an overdose as it happens, before death occurs. Many jurisdictions now train first responders and health professionals, as well as families and friends of users, how to use prescription medications that safely and effectively reverses an opioid overdose, e.g. Naloxone. There are many state, local, and community programs that offer training and access to Naloxone. Below is a short list of state programs in our region.
DE - DOSE, DC - Bread for the City, MD - ORP, PA - Get Naloxone Now, VA - REVIVE!, WV - OEMS.
See also SAMHSA's Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit.
The Central East Resource Library has additional information on opioids. To add your overdose prevention program and/or materials to the library, please email dialogue@ATTCnetwork.org.