Did you know that on average 115 Americans die every day from an opioid drug overdose? Over the past several years, the effects of opioid addiction and overdose deaths have profoundly impacted the lives of Alabama residents. Many individuals have suffered in silence, not knowing how or where to get help. Friends, family, and communities have all looked at ways to support individuals with opioid use disorders and prevent overdose deaths.
One promising effective approach is working with EMS/First Responders who respond to opioid and overdose-related calls. When responding to the call or transporting individuals to the hospital, these professionals have an opportunity to provide information to patients and their families on how to get the help they need.
EMS/First Responders Can Take the Following Steps to Help Those Who Suffer:
- Try to create an atmosphere of trust with patients and those who are accompanying them by reminding them that they are not being judged.
- Educate patients and those who are accompanying them that naloxone can be obtained from participating pharmacies without a prescription from a doctor.
- Share the COSA-NCADD wallet cards with patients and those who are accompanying them. Encourage those who are struggling with opioid dependence and their loved ones to contact COSA-NCADD in order to receive more information about support services for those who are seeking help as well as guidance for their families.
- Provide updated information to the Alabama Department of Public Health so state officials and community organizations can be prepared for any spikes in opioid dependence-related emergencies.
- When responding to non-emergency calls, remind residents that 9-1-1 is for true emergencies and that people’s lives could be impacted because EMS responders respond to calls in order received.
No Judgment: Opioid Help is Here.
The Council on Substance Abuse-NCADD (COSA-NCADD) offers recovery support services to individuals with opioid dependence and their families. Together with peers in recovery, treatment providers, and other community organizations, we strive to offer hope while meeting the specialized needs of those seeking help.
If you or someone you know needs help with opioid dependence, please call 1-877-HELP-4AL now. The helpline provides confidential assistance for those who need help themselves and guidance for those seeking help for loved ones. When you call, you’ll be greeted by a friendly, compassionate peer-support specialist who has personal experience in recovery from a mental health or substance abuse issue. They are here to help you and will never judge you or your circumstances.