Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Support Prevention Programs on Overdose Awareness Day

Nearly 15 years ago, the Chicago Recovery Alliance became the first organization in the U.S. to distribute naloxone and give prevention and response training to people at risk of overdose. After they expanded the project, heroin overdose mortality dropped by more than a third in Chicago over two years. And not content with their local success, CRA staff have given countless hours of free advice, encouragement, prodding, training and crucial aid in getting access to naloxone and other supplies. Overdose prevention would look nothing like it does today without their work. Beyond that, the CRA model was the direct inspiration for scores of overdose projects in Russia, Ukraine, Thailand and many other countries. 

Today times are tough and we're asking you to give something back to the folks at CRA who have done so much for us. Funding is scarce and naloxone availability and pricing has challenged projects just as we're reaching critical mass across the country. So for this year's International Overdose Awareness Day there is a campaign underway to raise funds. All proceeds will go to CRA directly for the purchase of naloxone (and are tax deductible if you're American). 

Follow this link to the campaign page to learn more and donate. A few more words from the campaign are after the fold.

Thanks for your support from all of us at OPA!

International Overdose Awareness Day is an opportunity to remember the people we have lost to overdose.  

It is also a call to action.

Overdose deaths can be prevented if people know how to recognize and respond to an overdose. Naloxone (narcan) is one of the important tools that we have to prevent overdose deaths.  In the past decade, more than 50,000 people have been trained and provided with naloxone, resulting in over 10,000 overdose rescues.

However, right now there are some major problems:
  • There is a naloxone shortage, which is contributing to increasing naloxone prices
  • Overdose prevention programs don’t have enough money to buy the huge volume of naloxone that people are requesting to save lives
  • There is no federal funding for naloxone programs and the number of philanthropic organizations that fund programs can be counted on one hand
Your donation will go directly to purchasing the naloxone.  The first naloxone distribution program in the country, the Chicago Recovery Alliance (CRA), has provided technical assistance and/or start up support to nearly every existing program in the country. This year, CRA doesn’t have enough funds to purchase the volume of naloxone necessary to meet the demand.  This fundraising campaign is our opportunity to appreciate the breadth of CRA’s work and to ensure that CRA continues to be able to provide the same level of naloxone access as in years past.  We need a lot more than $10,000 to buy all the naloxone we need.  Since this is the first time we have tried to raise money directly from the community and because indiegogo will charge 9% if we don’t actually meet our goal, we chose a figure that is about 20% of the amount necessary.  So, if we surpass this goal, the money will still go directly to purchasing naloxone.

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