As our state continues to struggle with record-breaking drug overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mike Bloomberg today announced that Bloomberg Philanthropies will be making a 5-year, $120 million investment to help combat the overdose crisis in the hard-hit states of Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.
Each new state that is joining the ‘Overdose Prevention Initiative‘ will receive $10 million spread out over the next 5 years. The money will go toward increased addition education, ensuring medication access and availability, engaging local communities, and supporting people who use drugs.
“The overdose epidemic is one of the worst public health crises we’ve ever faced –254 Americans die every single day from drug overdoses. It’s tearing families apart across the country, and we need bolder, nationwide action, especially from the federal government – but we can’t afford to wait until that happens,” said Michael R. Bloomberg
“We have to attack the underlying disease of addition, and do everything we can to remove the stigma,” said Roy Cooper.
North Carolina recently changed several laws related to opioid overdoses to help curb the epidemic, including changing Naloxone (opioid overdose antidote) from requiring a prescription, to now be available ‘over the counter’, and we implemented a new ‘Good Samaritan Law’.
The law essentially protects people who administer Naloxone to someone who has overdosed from any liability.
The following are common signs of an opioid-related overdose;
Shallow or slowed breathing
Loss of consciousness
If you know anyone who might use heroin or any other opioids, please pick up some Naloxone from your local pharmacist and keep it handy – you never know when it might save someone’s life.
What do you think about North Carolina’s recent actions surrounding the opioid epidemic?
What more do you think should be done?