RI Public Health Community Unites to Combat Rising Overdoses with Record Narcan Distribution!

On August 31st, over 100 volunteers, representing over 16 community partners including RICARES, Parent Support Network, Anchor Recovery, Community Care Alliance, East Bay Recovery Center, AIDS Care Ocean State, House of Hope, VICTA, Sojourner House, Brown University School of Public Health, PONI, West Warwick HEZ, CODAC, URI Community First Responder Program, and Thrive, spread out to 13 cities and towns across Rhode Island to distribute over 1482 Units of Narcan!

This event was the brainchild of our very own Ashley Perry, intervention case manager and outreach coordinator for our Providence street outreach efforts.  Her efforts as a street outreach worker and as a person in recovery led her to suggest that in addition to our considerable efforts to get Narcan into the hands of those directly using on the streets, it is important to connect with the friends and family members of those using, by meeting them at grocery and liquor stores, laundromats, bike paths, beaches, and barbershops. Ashley said, “The surgeon general recommends everyone carry Naloxone, and we have to be creative about how we get this into the hands of those who might use it to save a life!”

Partners and volunteers, all wearing t-shirts with the hashtag “EndOverdoseRI” distributed Narcan and talked to people about overdose prevention and the importance of carrying Narcan, in a year when overdose deaths are sadly expected to break a record.  

We are very grateful to all of our partners in harm reduction and recovery for collaborating on this life-saving event, and we look forward to next year when we can create something even bigger and more impactful!