Carmi Kiwanis Learns About Opioid Overdose Prevention
The Kiwanis Club of Carmi met for its weekly meeting on Thursday, May 23rd. Jim Davis won the weekly 50/50 drawing, but did not produce the orange golf ball so the money will roll over to next week ($42). Paul Dusch was the lucky recipient of the gas card donated by Martin and Bailey. Club member Adam Winkleman introduced his beautiful daughter Annabeth as his lunch date. During the sharing of good news, Art Saunders announced that the White County Retired Teachers will host a pork burger lunch on June 1st in the parking lot of Little Giant. Not only will the money support a great cause, but you will get a burger, chips, drink, and homemade cookie for $5. Barry Cleveland also reminded everyone about alumni weekend for Crossville and Norris City.
Club President Katelyne Wolff introduced April Scales from the Egyptian Health Department. April presented a program on opioid overdose prevention. April explained that opioids are a class of drugs (depressants) that work by decreasing feelings of pain and creating a comfortable feeling. Many opioids are pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others. Illegally, they include heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.
According to April, 130 Americans in Illinois die daily from a drug overdose. Opioid overdoses have killed nearly 11,000 people since 2008. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death in people under age 50. This epidemic is expected to claim the lives of nearly 2,000 Illinoisans by this time next year. Many of these deaths are from prescribed medications and either accidental in nature or from people self-medicating. In 2018, the overprescribing by doctors of opioids was declared a national epidemic, and 41 states have now imposed tighter restrictions on the prescribing of opioids. However, illicit opioid drug use is also on the rise in Southeastern Illinois. Illicit drug users are obtaining black-market powdered fentanyl that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine and molding it into pill form and/or combining it into marijuana or other drugs for a greater (sometimes deadly) high. The drugs affect the central nervous system by decreasing the users breathing and heart rate.
Therefore, April’s message to the club was, “Be Prepared! Get Naloxone! Save a Life!”
According to April and the National Institute on drug abuse, “Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications.” April explained that Naloxone comes in many forms, but showed the club how to administer the nasal mist and provided a few kits for any club member wishing to take one home. She challenged the club to keep Naloxone in our emergency kits in case we ever encounter someone unconscious so we can administer this potentially life-saving drug. For more information, call 1-833-662-HELP.
Next week’s program will be the Carmi Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament!