For our MLK Day of service, we joined with a large group of ArizonaServe Americorps VISTAs at Changemaker High School, Tucson, AZ. We gathered to support harm reduction by making naloxone kits.
Harm reduction is a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs. It includes a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. The most dire consequence of drug use is death by overdose. Administering naloxone prevents this from happening. Naloxone is a medication that reverses opioid overdoses by blocking the opioid receptors and allowing the person to regain their breath. It is imperative that people who use drugs and everyone else who may find themselves in a position to administer naloxone has naloxone. We spent the afternoon creating over 700 kits to be distributed consisting of 3 doses of naloxone, 3 syringes, and instructions. This was a valuable opportunity to provide education to local VISTAs unfamiliar with harm reduction and empower them to put medication in the hands of community members who can now save lives.
Gretchen and Annelisse are both on the CSI Alternatives to Managing Pain team, addressing the health disparities faced by those made vulnerable by drug use in the Tucson area. Annelisse serves with Sonoran Prevention Works. Gretchen serves with the Community Prevention Coalition of Pima County.
written by Gretchen Peterson and Annelisse