on June 21, 2017 by test_editor in Archive_2017, June, Print Articles, Comments Off on June 22, 2017: Escaping ‘A Warm Hug’; Opiate overdose kits save lives.

June 22, 2017: Escaping ‘A Warm Hug’; Opiate overdose kits save lives.

June 22, 2017: Escaping ‘A Warm Hug’;
Opiate overdose kits save lives.

By Lorrie Marlow, Mechanicsville Community Association.

The Mechanicsville Community Association and Somerset Community Health Center recently held a Naloxone Workshop with Mark Barnes with Respect RX Pharmasave of Vanier.

Naloxone, if administered in time, can reverse or block an opioid overdose. If you “Google” Mark Barnes, you will find he is the rock-star of the program and has given away nearly 1700 Naloxone kits in Ottawa. He believes if you need pain medication, are an addict, or a parent of teenagers you should have this kit.

Holly Cartwright, a Director with Mechanicsville Community Association and an engaged community activist, heard the concerns of residents and coordinated this workshop. She collected OHIP numbers from involved residents prior to the meeting in order for Mark to prepare kits for free distribution. Mechanicsville also reached out to the City of Ottawa Safer Roads program and obtained free “Slow Down, Children Playing” signs and bike safety items to give away as well.

It was a warm, beautiful evening for the workshop at Laroche Park and the Mechanicsville Community Association anticipated most residents would grab a free kit and run. Surprisingly, everyone stayed and listened to Mark discuss addiction and provide instructions on using the kit.

Mark is a dynamic speaker with humor, common sense and street smarts which come from working with long time street addicts. It is hard to understand why anyone would experiment with drugs that could kill them. Mark walked us through all aspects of how these drugs make a person feel and why the drugs are hard to stop once they start. He was also able to explain to parents why teens are experimenting with these dangerous cocktails of prescription drugs.

Prescription opiates are often over-prescribed and available in anyone’s medicine cabinet, they are easy to hide, no detectable scent, do not cause weight gain and when taken are described as a warm hug. Who doesn’t like a warm hug.

Mark’s lasting message for concerned parents was clean out your medicine cabinet, keep this kit readily available and talk to your teens or find someone that can reach them. Go to a community workshop or your local pharmacy with your OHIP card and ask for a free kit. If they are back-ordered, go to another pharmacy or watch for local community groups and churches who are coordinating these workshops. The Naloxone kit is the free gift we hope you never need to use…


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