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Health & Medicine

HIV Alliance Begins Distributing Overdose Reversal Drug

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A new program in Eugene has already reversed at least one opioid overdose. That's according to HIV Alliance. In the last month they began distributing the drug Naloxone as part of their syringe exchange.

Naloxone, also called Narcan, can bring a person overdosing on drugs like heroin back to life.
Renee Yandel is with the Eugene non-profit, HIV Alliance. She says an alarming number of syringe exchange clients say they have witnessed or are concerned about overdoses.

Yandel: "Over the years we've really seen that in order to have people engage with us around HIV prevention we have to be doing things that are important to them and things they identify as important health needs. This is one of those things. Ultimately it's a life saving technique and needle exchange is the best place to do it."

Yandel says recent Oregon legislation allows non-medical providers to give Naloxone to those who may need it for friends or family. The Alliance has distributed 30 two-dose kits so far and provides training to syringe exchange clients.

Yandel says this "street-based" model has been effective in other cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and Portland.
 

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