Nonprofit hands out medication that reverses drug overdoses

Nonprofit hands out medication that reverses drug overdoses
Published: Sep. 12, 2016 at 9:31 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 12, 2016 at 10:17 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Inside the fellowship hall at Harris United Methodist Church on Monday, people dropped in for a bite to eat and a blue pouch.

Inside the pouch, a drug that could save a life.

The CHOW Project worked with University Health Partners of Hawaii for the event, the first to take advantage of a new law aimed at increasing access to Naloxone. The drug restores a person's ability to breath during an opioid overdose.

The CHOW Project, which helps people affected by drug use, raised enough money to buy 50 kits. Inside were two doses of the life-saving drug, two syringes and instructions.

Jean Mooney was an addict more than two decades before getting sober. She watched her ex-boyfriend overdose twice.

"It was the most terrifying thing I've ever seen," she said.

On Monday, she showed people how to administer Naloxone.

"The bottom line is that this saves lives," she said. "Dead people cannot make it to recovery."

Naloxone is covered by Medicaid. And thanks to the new law, signed by Gov. David Ige this summer, Naloxone is now available to relatives and friends of heroin users and people on painkillers.

"If you have someone in your family who has an opioid addiction or is on chronic opioid for chronic pain then having family members have this around is very important," said Dr. Tricia Wright, of the CHOW Project.

Doctors say if someone is experiencing an overdoes, call 911. Naloxone doesn't last long, so you should continue rescue breathing until paramedics arrive.

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