Turnout was strong at the first monthly meeting at Peninsula Community Health Services to discuss opioid addiction and to hand out life-saving Narcan kits.
“We did our presentation, it was a joint presentation with the Public Health Division of Public Health Nursing, who actually distributes the Narcan kids. It was kind of informational and two-fold,” said Fred Koski, who does outreach for PCHS. “You know the informational piece talked about what opioids themselves, what they are, how they work, why people tend to abuse them. And why some get addicted and others don’t.”
When they get to addiction, that leads the conversation towards Narcan, an injectable drug that almost instantly can reverse an opioid overdose.
Koski said a wide variety of people came out to the discussion.
“Yeah, we had about 11 members of the community show up. What was interesting, we had a couple of dental providers in the area, cause they were pretty interested in the information that we had to present. And one behavioral health provider that was there. I kind of think she was there in support of what we were doing, but she was pretty interested in what was going on,” he said. “And then just members of the general public that heard the news. And you know, there’s a lot of news right now about the opioid crisis so I think people are trying to look for information.”
As the opioid crisis continues unabated, Narcan is being carried more and more by first responders across the nation.
“Part of the reason we wanted to do this is to get this information that we’ve had for a little while into a format that’s relatively easy to digest,” Koski said. “I hope that it’s a little bit of fun, but I hope people walk away with a broader understanding of the problem and at least engage folks in asking more questions and looking for more information.”
Opioid education meetings will be held regularly on the last Thursday of the month at the PCHS facility on Marydale Ave. in Soldotna. The next one is Feb. 28.