Substance Use, Fentanyl & Harm Reduction: What it means for us
- Library Hall
Bud Werner Library presents a community engagement opportunity with Memorial Regional Health, High Rockies Harm Reduction, The Colorado Consortium for Rx Drug Abuse Prevention and more, providing an enlightening and grounded look at the state of substance use in our communities and how we (and YOU) can help combat the rise in overdose and overdose-related deaths.
It's no secret that substance use has been on the rise for many years, and it likely comes as no surprise that the rate of this rise increased sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic. You have likely heard in the news that the rate of overdoses has risen even more sharply in the same time frame. But why? During this discussion, qualified presenters will answer not only the why, but also the who, what, when, and where of the current overdose crisis. Their goal is not to instill fear, but to foster open, honest, real conversation about why people are using substances with greater frequency, why more people are experiencing overdose events, and what we can all do to help our family, our friends, and our community members stay alive.
Free training & harm reduction kits for the community
Following this frank discussion, the presenters will provide training on naloxone (Narcan) and its use in the case of an overdose emergency, including how to recognize when these emergencies are occurring. They will demonstrate how to use fentanyl testing strips to see if substances have been contaminated with this often deadly drug. They will also discuss other harm reduction testing tools and how they can be obtained.
We will have free harm reduction kits on hand to distribute, thanks to the efforts and funding of the Rural Response to the Opioid Epidemic (RROE) grant initiative. These kits contain information on recognizing and responding to an overdose, instructions on using fentanyl test strips and naloxone, and additional harm reduction resources and information. Most importantly, they also contain fentanyl testing strips and naloxone. The more we get these tools into the hands of community members, the greater chance they can save your life, the life of a loved one, or even the life of a complete stranger if you witness an overdose emergency in progress.
About International Overdose Awareness Day
Local communities in Steamboat Springs and around the world are coming together to remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose. International Overdose Awareness Day seeks to create better understanding of overdose, reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths, and create change that reduces the harms associated with drug use. By holding an event this year, the Yampa Valley is joining a global movement for understanding, compassion and change. People and communities come together annually to raise awareness of one of the world’s most urgent public health crises – one that, unfortunately, is only getting worse: According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s most recent World Annual Drug Report, nearly half a million people around the world died as a result of drug use in 2019. Early statistics and anecdotal evidence for the 2021 calendar year show that the situation is becoming ever-more critical, exacerbated in many areas by the pandemic decreasing the tolerance of people who use drugs and disrupting both services and the drug supply chain.