Education is the First Step Towards Change

Public Service Announcements (PSAs)

Remember those old adds meant to scare you into never doing drugs? In hindsight, we know that these tactics are completely ineffective, it’s easy to see their sensationalism as ridiculous.

What would more honest, actually helpful versions of those PSAs look like? We think they would look like the videos below.

Our Public Service Announcements (PSAs) are short clips that encapsulate our most important messages. These videos will always be free. Share them with whoever you think should see them. We think everyone should. Thanks for watching and sharing!

Narcan

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Overdoses from opioids happen every day and Naloxone is saving lives every day. Overdoses can occur with legitimately prescribed opioids and opioids that are misused. The U.S. Surgeon General has urged us to carry this lifesaving medication.

Naloxone=Narcan. They are the same drug. Narcan is the brand name for the nasal form of Naloxone.

Naloxone is used as an emergency treatment to counteract an overdose from an opioid, which causes a life-threatening depression of the central nervous and respiratory systems. Within 3-5 minutes without oxygen, brain damage starts to occur, and is quickly followed by death.

Surviving an opioid overdose wholly depends on breathing and oxygen. Naloxone, when used with “rescue breaths” can allow an overdose victim to be revived and breathe normally. It is a non-addictive medication. Naloxone is fast acting but only lasts about 30 minutes. When someone is revived with Naloxone they still need to seek medical attention at an ER or hospital.

Anyone of any age can purchase Naloxone directly from a pharmacist without a doctor’s prescription. All major pharmacy chains (i.e. CVS, Walgreen’s, Walmart, and RiteAid) stock Narcan Nasal Spray, and it’s also available at many community organizations. You can also ask for one from your health care provider. Many insurance plans cover the cost of Naloxone.

Naloxone has a shelf life of two years and can be administered as a nasal spray, an injection or an auto-injector. You cannot harm someone by giving them Naloxone, even if they are NOT experiencing an overdose from opioids. However, Naloxone will NOT reverse an overdose caused by substances other than opioids.

Want to know more? Visit the MN Department of Health and National Institute of Health both have good, in-depth information available.

Pressed Pills

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Pressed pills are counterfeit pills.

Unless you’re getting a pill directly from a pharmacist, don’t trust that it’s safe. People have the false impression that pills are a “safer” way to use or experiment with substances. This idea is often based on the belief that pills are coming from a pharmacy. Even if you are offered pills from a legitimate prescription bottle or from a friend you trust, you simply can’t be sure.

Overdose deaths occur when someone takes a pill they believe is one thing, but turns out to be a “pressed” pill containing fentanyl—a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times more powerful than morphine. All illicit or “pressed” pills are not equal. 42% of illicit pills confiscated by the DEA contain a potentially lethal amount of fentanyl.

Every year more and more drugs confiscated by law enforcement are found to contain fentanyl, including heroin, meth, cocaine, ecstasy, Molly (MDMA), and pressed in pills that are disguised as Oxycontin, Hydrocodone, Xanax, Adderall, and other pharmaceuticals. In the past few years, 50% of overdose deaths were caused by fentanyl.

The Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes for Health, and Harm Reduction Coalition all have good resources for learning more about fentanyl.

Steve’s Law

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Steve’s Law, also known as the Good Samaritan law, was created in 2014. When a person calls 911 to report a suspected or known drug overdose, Steve’s Law protects them from prosecution for using or possessing drugs related to the overdose they are calling about. It also protects people who respond to an overdose if they administer Naloxone.

Steve’s Law exists so people don’t leave someone who is overdosing because they’re afraid they or the person overdosing will be arrested if they call 911. It doesn’t matter if you have been using substances or if there is a “personal use” amount of drugs on scene. Police are more interested in saving lives than arresting people.

If you leave someone and don’t call 911 and the overdose leads to a death, you can be charged for not getting help for someone who needs it.

The Minnesota Department of Health offers a great source of clear and thorough information on Steve’s Law.

Pill Disposal

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Two-thirds of teens and young adults who report abuse of prescription medicine are getting it from friends, family and acquaintances. Make sure the young people in your life don’t have access to any medications in your home. Secure and properly dispose of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter medicine in your home.

Monitor dosages and refills of prescribed medications, especially those that are known to be addictive and commonly misused such as opioids (prescription pain relievers), benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety and sedative medications) and stimulants (ADHD medications).

Make sure your friends, parent’s of your child’s friends, neighbors and relatives—especially grandparents—are also aware of the risks. Encourage them to keep medications in a secure location and safely dispose of unused medicine.

You can safely dispose of unused medications using use a drug deactivation bag. If you don’t have one, Contact Us and we can mail you one! Alternatively, you can find a safe drug disposal option near you by simply Googling “drug drop off location”.