Over the next several weeks, while we are socially distancing, Hope for Healing will be engaged in several activities that we think will be of interest to you.
Several members of the Hope for Healing team have undergone training to become certified to train others in the administration of naloxone. Most of you know that naloxone is a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The use of naloxone has been instrumental in saving many lives. In 2013 DuPage County implemented a program for training first responders in the use of naloxone for treating overdose. Since that time, there have been over 500 “saves” performed by first responders in DuPage county, in which overdose was successfully reversed. The DuPage county Health Department and the HOPE task force continue to support programs that provide training and supply naloxone to many first responders and interested individuals. The Hope for Healing team members who have become certified to train others in the administration of naloxone will be reaching out to first responders in the community to offer assistance to individuals, as well as family members and friends who want training in the administration of naloxone. With the support of the DuPage county HOPE task force we will also be able to provide naloxone to those we train.
One of the major projects that Hope for Healing has been involved in has been the Mobile Outreach Unit, which is run by Live4Lali. The unit provides clean supplies, food, water, and support in areas where there are high incidence of overdose. The unit will be doing drop-offs scheduled through their app and will continue normal operation when the shelter-in-place has been lifted.
Our friends Laura Fry and Alexander Mathiesen at Live4Lali are hosting a webinar titled Support, Safety, and Science. It will take place on Thursday April 30 from 9am-12:30pm (with 2 15 minute breaks). If you are interested, follow the link below to sign up! They will be covering the following topics:
- Understand what opioids are and how they work in the brain and body
- Identify the signs of an opioid overdose
- Obtain baseline understanding of the opioid overdose epidemic
- Harm reduction from a family perspective
- Embracing people who use substances (or have overdosed) with compassion
- Become familiar with overdose prevention strategies and policies
- Learn how to respond and reverse an opioid overdose
- Facts about Naloxone/NARCAN, the opioid overdose reversal medication
We will also be using this time of social distancing to provide some blog posts addressing the broad questions of “What can we do?” and “How can I help?” both in terms of more immediate issues and needs, as well as broader areas of concern. You can find our blog here.
Steve Stefani is a board member of Hope for Healing. Steve was inspired to start Hope for Healing with his family after the devastating loss of his twin brother Matt to an overdose. Since his brother’s death, Steve has worked hard to heal his own wounds and is inspired to help others who are suffering with addiction. He is a graduate from the University of Dayton with a degree in Political Science, concentrating on Human Rights, non-profit and NGO work, and international politics. In his free time Steve enjoys playing the drums, reading, and playing with his dog Bo.