More than 1,200 free rescue kits have been dispensed since August 1, 2013
The North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) is saving lives and bringing overdose victims back from the brink of death with its community-based Overdose Prevention Program (OPP). The OPP provides free overdose reversal kits and training to those likely to experience or witness an overdose. Since this program became fully operational on Aug. 1, 2013, NCHRC has dispensed 1,249 overdose rescues kits, and 50 individuals have reported they successfully administered naloxone, the antidote for opiate overdose. To advance these efforts Full Circle Recovery Center, LLC in Franklin, NC, an NCHRC Naloxone Contractor, will be distributing overdose rescue kits in Macon, Jackson, Haywood, Swain, and Cherokee counties.
On April 9, 2013, North Carolina passed one of the most comprehensive drug overdose prevention laws in the country called the “911 Good Samaritan and Naloxone Access Bill.” Also known as SB20, NCHRC, which advocated for this bill’s passage, quickly acted to disseminate and implement this life-saving law. In an effort to reduce drug overdose fatalities in North Carolina, SB20 protects witnesses and victims of overdose from prosecution for small amounts of certain drugs and paraphernalia that may be found as a result of seeking help for an overdose. The immunity also applies to underage drinkers who seek help for alcohol poisoning.
SB20 also allows for a standing order distribution, meaning that medical practitioners can grant permission to agencies like NCHRC to dispense naloxone without the provider present.
More information about SB20 can be found at http://www.nchrc.org/law-enforcement/ncs- new-overdose-prevention-law-sb-20/.