By Lonnie Ridgeway, VOA Alaska Prevention Coalition Director
Did you know during March, April, and May of this year, there were over 100 emergency department visits related to heroin overdose in Alaska? That’s double what it was last year during the same time period.
VOA Alaska recognizes what many community members and organizations have witnessed: a public health crisis related to drug overdose. In support of public health, VOA Alaska has found a way to serve the community and help address this issue by assembling and distributing NARCAN kits. NARCAN, also known as naloxone, is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration to rapidly reverse opioid overdose.
Each overdose kit includes:
- NARCAN nasal spray
- sterile gloves
- sanitations wipes
- a face mask
- info on what to do when you encounter someone who may be experiencing overdoses
- guide on how to use the nasal spray
Since March of 2021, VOA Alaska has been regularly distributing kits to organizations around the community who are in areas where drug use is common or the potential for drug use is higher. Some of the organizations include places such as houselessness centers, transition homes, grocery stores, businesses, and more.
If you or someone you know are often in areas where drug use is common, please consider keeping a kit accessible. VOA Alaska has kits available for community members upon request. At VOA Alaska, we believe that prevention is protection, and you could be the protection someone needs in the moment.
Part of VOA Alaska’s mission is to promote a healthy community. One way we accomplish this is by ensuring relevant resources are made available when needed. We are happy to serve the community.