Overdose prevention is a crucial part of the work of SWACH and its community partners. In honor of International Overdose Awareness Day, the SWACH Clark County Opioid Taskforce hosted its annual event on August 31, 2021. The event brings together community members to help reduce the stigma and shame that often are associated with overdose. It also provides important training that can save lives.
During the event, speakers who have been directly impacted by overdose addressed attendees outside the Marshall Center in Vancouver, WA. To help destigmatize overdoses, flags featuring pictures of people who have passed from overdoses were set up around the park. The event also included naloxone training and distribution.
Naloxone, also known by its brand name Narcan, is an essential tool in combating overdoses. In just a couple of minutes, Naloxone can return regular breathing to someone whose breathing has either stopped or slowed during an overdose. Making naloxone readily accessible in the community gives a lifesaving tool to assist individuals experiencing an overdose.
Lyn Anderson of Recovery Cafe Clark County organized this successful event. Recovery Cafe Clark County helps individuals on their recovery journey, providing the support and resources needed to make a meaningful change in their lives. At this event, we welcomed 27 community members and dispensed 57 nasal naloxone kits. Each participant was given at least two naloxone kits, consisting of two nasal Narcan doses, a CPR mask, and instructions.
SWACH works with community members and other experts to address the opioid epidemic locally. Our goals include reducing overdoses, promoting alternative pain management strategies, increasing outreach and education, and reaching more people with care and effective treatment.
Nearly 50,000 people died from opioid-involved overdoses in 2019. In Clark County, opioid deaths have risen by 40 percent over the last 10 years. If you or a loved one struggle with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), having naloxone on hand can prevent tragedy. In Washington State, many pharmacies carry naloxone and you can obtain it without first seeing a doctor.
Stay up-to-date on our response to the opioid epidemic by checking our newsfeed and website.