As we say goodbye to September and Recovery month, we wanted to reflect on what recovery means. Recovery can mean more time with your loved ones, more time traveling, more time seeing what God has in store for you. For us, recovery means a second chance.
For those struggling with addiction, second chances may only come because someone had Naloxone (Narcan) and administered it to stop an overdose.
Why should you carry Naloxone? The CDC shares the below information about overdose deaths.
- In nearly 40% of overdose deaths, someone else was present. Having Naloxone available allows bystanders to help a fatal overdose and save lives.
- 80% of overdose deaths occurred inside a home.
Naloxone is available in all 50 states and there are many community outreach programs that will provide Naloxone to the public at no charge. One such program is Project DAWN. Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) is a network of opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution programs (OENDP) coordinated by the Ohio Department of Health.
Leslie Dawn Cooper
The Ohio Department of Health shared the origins of Project DAWN – named in memory of Leslie Dawn Cooper. Leslie struggled with substance use disorder for many years before dying from a witnessed opioid overdose on Oct. 3, 2009. To prevent more tragedies like that from happening, Project DAWN has expanded to a collective of more than 370 naloxone distribution sites that cover around 75 of Ohio’s 88 counties including the Gallia County Health Department.
Recovery takes time and it’s a battle that is never truly won. At our Ohio Overdose Awareness Day on August 31, 2022, there were stories and testimonies of those who have fought against addiction and share their struggles from yesterday and how hard they fight to maintain sobriety today. These were stories of second chances. Second chances that, for some, would not have been possible without a friend or a stranger having Narcan available and administering it.
September may be ending but the fight against addiction in our community and helping provide those second chances hasn’t. If you are able, consider keeping Narcan with you. You can find local Project DAWN locations at https://odh.ohio.gov/know-our-programs/project-dawn/project-dawn-programs/project-dawn-locations and there is an option for online mail order as well. We all deserve a second chance.