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SWGA organizations offering Narcan to combat drug overdoses

Holidays tend to bring an increase in drug use, health experts say
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 5:52 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Department of Public Health and the Change Center in Albany are handing out free Narcan. That’s because they said during the holidays, they see an increase in drug use and overdoses.

Department of Public Health Opioid and Substance Misuse Coordinator Phyllis Rolle said there...
Department of Public Health Opioid and Substance Misuse Coordinator Phyllis Rolle said there were more people using drugs during the height of the pandemic, but Dougherty County was seeing a spike even before the pandemic.(WALB)

Department of Public Health Opioid and Substance Misuse Coordinator Phyllis Rolle said there were more people using drugs during the height of the pandemic, but Dougherty County was seeing a spike even before the pandemic.

“During the pandemic, it was a huge spike. Right now, those cases have not slowed down. We’re still trending upward. Narcan, it’s a nasal spray. One squirt in each nostril, call 911 and that counters the effects and shuts down the overdose process until you can get help on scene,” said Rolle.

Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler there have been 30 fatal drug overdoses, already three more deaths than 2020 overall.

Change Center Outreach Coordinator Daniel Fleuren said they have seen a spike in drug use...
Change Center Outreach Coordinator Daniel Fleuren said they have seen a spike in drug use during the holidays.(WALB)

Change Center Outreach Coordinator Daniel Fleuren explained why they see a spike during the holidays.

“It brings about some of those feelings that maybe we’re missing our families and anytime that we feel separated or apart from, that automatically will increase the want to use,” said Fleuren.

Fleuren said with an increase in fentanyl people should have Narcan on hand.

“Anybody that has a family member that they know of that’s using, anybody that has a friend that they know of. If you work at a gas station, if you work at a hotel, if you’ve got anybody you know that uses any type of opioid, we definitely want you to have Narcan,” said Fleuren.

The health department gives it out every Wednesday, and the Change Center gives it out daily.

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