Fair-goers have a chance to help save lives this week, thanks to Naloxone kits available at the Douglas Public Health Network booth at the Douglas County Fair.
The kits are free and come with training on how to administer medicine designed to reverse the effects of an overdose and bring someone out of an opioid overdose coma.
Brandy Schlacht, a prevention specialist for the HIV Alliance in Roseburg, has helped staff the Douglas Public Health Network booth in the Community Conference Hall. She said she’s been giving out dozens of the Naloxone kits. The Alliance, she said, also keeps the Roseburg Police Department supplied with the medicine.
Naloxone is said to bring the patient out of an overdose, but it typically only lasts about 20 to 30 minutes, and the patient who has overdosed will still have to go to the hospital for treatment. So Schlacht says it’s important to call 911 and get medical care on the way. She says the kits are lifesavers, and they’ve been working.
“We have quite a few people that come in for refills, so it does get used,” Schlacht said. “We’ve done trainings with every officer around here and they carry a kit with them, and ambulance drivers keep kits as well.”
Schlacht said there has been a lot of interest in the kits and about 10 have been given out each day at the fair booth. At the HIV Alliance office in the old health center building on West Madrone Street in Roseburg, 5 to 10 additional kits have been given out daily.
“We’ve had a lot of people interested,” Schlacht said. “It can be anybody that has a grandparent that takes an opiate, or have a small child in the home — it’s for everybody. It’s been a wide range of ages.”
Anyone can pick up a kit, and you’ll be required to watch a short video to learn how to properly use it.
“We have a flip-through training and also a video that we go through,” Schlacht said. “It’s a quick couple of minute training and then they get a free kit.”
Anyone who wants a Naloxone kit and can’t make it to the fair booth this week can get a kit for no charge at the Douglas Public Health Network or HIV Alliance offices from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“If you don’t need it, you might know someone who does or come across somebody just walking down the street, so I think everybody should carry a kit,” Schlacht said.