Fight against opi­oid ad­dic­tion makes way to Sa­line County

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Dana Guthrie [email protected]­ton­courier.com

Two lo­cal church groups are join­ing to­gether to help fight opi­oid ad­dic­tion in Sa­line County and bring hope to those fac­ing the is­sue.

Mem­bers of the Hol­land Chapel Baptist Church and Mid­town Church will be can­vass­ing the county on Satur­day morn­ing to bring in­for­ma­tion and other items to res­i­dents in hopes that those cur­rently deal­ing with ad­dic­tion will reach out for help.

They also hope to help pre­vent new ad­dic­tions by giv­ing away items such as time-locked pre­scrip­tion bot­tles and guides on how to talk to a doc­tor about help­ing to pre­vent ad­dic­tion while still tak­ing re­quired med­i­ca­tions. In­for­ma­tion on how to prop­erly dis­pose of un­used med­i­ca­tion, rec­og­niz­ing over­doses and other items will also be dis­trib­uted in the bags.

“We just want to get out the in­for­ma­tion about how (peo­ple) can get help in the opi­oid cri­sis,” said Marlis Wynne, a mem­ber of Hol­land Chapel Baptist Church.

The idea for the project grew

out of Hol­land Chapel’s Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery classes.

“The classes help any­body with ad­dic­tion or re­ally any kind of hurt or habit,” Wynne said.

The groups are plan­ning to go to truck stops, restau­rants, lo­cal businesses and other venues to drop off bags of in­for­ma­tion on the Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery Meet­ings along with the give­away items.

“It’s just a lot of handy kind of things,” Wynne said.

Wynne also said they want to fo­cus on reach­ing peo­ple who may find them­selves in a sit­u­a­tion where a per­son has over­dosed. There are re­sources avail­able to help some­one in that po­si­tion. Nalox­one, also known as Nar­can, can be ad­min­is­tered by some­one to tem­po­rar­ily re­verse the ef­fects of an opi­oid over­dose. It can be pur­chased as most phar­ma­cies.

“There are classes that we do for the Nar­can,” Wynne said. “If any­one wants to get trained on Nar­can, it’s free. We do classes and they are sched­uled based on the need. If we get a cer­tain amount of peo­ple that call and re­quest the class, we will sched­ule one. They will also get a free Nar­can kit, so that they can re­vive some­one who has had an opi­oid over­dose.” The groups will also be dis­tribut­ing in­for­ma­tion on the Arkansas Over­dose Pro­gram which is a “Good Sa­mar­i­tan” law that pro­tects peo­ple from ar­rest for sim­ple pos­ses­sion if they call 911 to help some­one who is over­dos­ing. Arkansas’ Joshua Ash­ley-pauley Act pro­vides im­mu­nity from ar­rest, charge and pros­e­cu­tion for sim­ple pos­ses­sion for those who seek med­i­cal as­sis­tance for oth­ers who are over­dos­ing.

“We are try­ing to make peo­ple more aware of the re­sources avail­able,” Wynne said. “We want peo­ple to not be ad­dicted to the opioids in the first place, but we also want them to know about all the re­sources that are avail­able to help them if they are.”

The groups will meet at Hol­land Chapel at 1 p.m. today to assem­ble the bags. The groups will leave the church on Satur­day morn­ing at 9 a.m. to can­vass the county.

“We want peo­ple to know that help is out there,” Wynne said. “We thinks it’s a re­ally im­por­tant thing to get as much cov­er­age as pos­si­ble and as much in­for­ma­tion out there as we can.”

For in­for­ma­tion on join­ing a free Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery class, con­tact Johnny Cup­ples at Hol­land Chapel Baptist Church at re­cov­[email protected]­land­chapel. org.

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