Over­dose warn­ing

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS -

DRUG over­doses do not dis­crim­i­nate – it could be some­one’s daugh­ter, son, fa­ther, mother or best friend.

Be­cause of this, St Pa­trick’s Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Fre­man­tle took part in the re­cent In­ter­na­tional Over­dose Aware­ness Day.

Cross­roads As­sertive AOD out­reach worker Sean Gal­lacher said the day was a global event.

“It aims to raise aware­ness of over­dose and re­duce the stigma of a drug-re­lated death,” he said.

“It also ac­knowl­edges the grief felt by fam­i­lies and friends re­mem­ber­ing those who have died or had a per­ma­nent in­jury as a re­sult of drug over­dose.”

He said St Pat’s was pro­vid­ing free Nalox­one train­ing.

“It is what am­bu­lance of­fi­cers give some­one if they have over­dosed on an opi­oid – Nalox­one only works on opi­oids, such as heroin, mor­phine, methadone, oxy­codone and fen­tanyl,” he said.

“It has no side-ef­fects on any­one who has not used opi­oids.

“The train­ing will cover how to recog­nise and re­spond to opi­oid over­dose and in­cluded in the train­ing will be legally pre­scribed Nalox­one kit.

“Any­one can at­tend the train­ing, in­clud­ing fam­ily mem­bers, friends and other peo­ple who may wit­ness opi­oid over­dose.”

Mr Gal­lacher, who has worked in the al­co­hol and drug sec­tor for five years, said over­dose could af­fect any­one and was pre­ventable.

“There is a lot of stigma around over­dose and al­though home­less peo­ple are at risk of over­dose, the largest in­crease in ac­ci­den­tal over­dose deaths are with peo­ple who take pre­scribed drugs,” he said.

“I’ve be­come in­creas­ingly aware of the dan­gers of opi­oid over­dose and the in­crease in the num­ber of fa­tal or life-chang­ing over­doses.” FRE­MAN­TLE Sea Res­cue sailed away with a win at the Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices awards.

It won the Out­stand­ing Group Op­er­a­tions award.

Fre­man­tle Sea Res­cue pres­i­dent Mark Zu­vela said there was a sense of re­lief and ac­com­plish­ment.

“Ev­ery­one in the team has been work­ing in­cred­i­bly hard,” he said.

“We have com­pleted two ma­jor projects, in­clud­ing build­ing two new cus­tom boats, re­fit­ting an­other boat and con­vert­ing a build­ing to the res­cue and op­er­a­tion cen­tre.

“On a lot of these projects, whilst we got as­sis­tance we worked hard to fundraise our­selves.”

The res­cue group uses state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy which en­ables it to mon­i­tor and trans­mit 11 ma­rine ra­dio chan­nels from any smart phone, tablet or com­puter. Mr Zu­vela said the cen­tre re­ceived 33,000 calls a year and held be­tween 600 and 700 res­cues.

“All of our ra­dio is con­trolled via com­puter and smart­phones which gives us in­creased ca­pa­bil­i­ties for 24-hour-a-day, 7-days-aweek ra­dio watch,” he said.

“The tech­nol­ogy has been around for a num­ber of years but it didn’t have the multi-plat­form ca­pa­bil­i­ties; we are the first peo­ple we know to use that par­tic­u­lar soft­ware in the South­ern Hemi­sphere.”

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