Local initiative calling on community to fight opioid crisis

NOW: Local initiative calling on community to fight opioid crisis

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Wednesday, Naxos Neighbor’s app will begin its second beta testing in hopes of officially launching the app come September, but they need your help. A group of current and former Ivy Tech students, faculty and staff created the Naxos Neighbor’s app.

The smartphone feature is a one button push. When with someone suffering from a drug overdose, bystanders can anonymously connect with first responders in the area who are carrying Narcan.

In St. Joseph County, opioid overdoses spiked in 2020 with 83 people losing their lives, research shows these deaths frequently are preventable. Naxos Neighbors are hopeful to take the fear out of the situation and provide people with the help they need.

“Research is showing that approximately 40% of overdoses happen with a bystander present and less than 5% of the time does that person call 911. This is an enormous problem because overdoses with Narcan, the reversal drug, are 97% preventable,” says Joanne Kelly Cogdell, Naxos Neighbors CEO. “We can prevent 97% of these deaths if we can just get Narcan to the person at the right place at the right time.”

While the pandemic is believed to play a role in these rising numbers, it is not the only cause. This ever-growing crisis needs the community to take action…and do so, quickly.

“But in addition to that, opioids were flooding into the country right before the COVID epidemic hit. Unfortunately, the drug cartels are following the epidemic, they are following what people are addicted to, and that is what is entering the country and will continue to happen,” says Cogdell. “The U.S. consumes 80% of opioids consumed in the entire world, and we are 4.4% of the population. We have 41% of the deaths. We have created this crisis, and we need to do a whole lot more to solve it”

The event is today from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church. They are looking for people to come and test their app. They also are seeking first responders to sign up.

Further information can be found here.  

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