Emotional Toll of Holiday & Tornado Aftermath Increases Overdose Risk

The Community Overdose Action Team (COAT) is reminding drug users, friends and family members that a holiday period can lead to an increased risk of overdose. Individuals dealing with drug or alcohol addiction may find sobriety especially difficult to maintain during the holiday. There is the potential for family conflict, loneliness, grief and financial strain all of which can lead to mood swings that can increase chances of an overdose.

In addition, attempts to cope with both physical and personal losses by those affected from the region’s recent tornadoes and destructive aftermath can add to the stress they may already feel.

Individuals affected may seek drug and alcohol use as a coping method to temporarily relieve stress. While there is no safe way to use illegal drugs, it is important that drug users, their friends and family, and the public are aware of steps they can take to help reduce the risk of death.

Safety recommendations for people who use drugs:

  1. Call Samaritan Crisis Care 24/7 at 224-4646 for crisis, treatment and referral.
  2. Have Narcan available, and someone who can administer it, in case of an overdose.
  3. Do not use drugs containing fentanyl.
  4. Do not use drugs alone.
  5. Do not share needles.
  6. In the event of an overdose, call 911 immediately.

And finally, here are some resources available that the public can use to help prevent overdose deaths.

  1. Attend Naloxone/Narcan training. Project Dawn Montgomery County offers FREE weekly naloxone overdose education & distribution every Wednesday at Noon at 601 Edwin C. Moses Blvd, Door F, CrisisCare entrance in Dayton.  (Please arrive 15 minutes early to register).  Project Dawn will also schedule training during evenings and weekends by the request of businesses, faith-based organizations, service groups, and other community groups.  Please call 937.734.8333 to schedule a group training 
  2. Be knowledgeable about local treatment options. Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services maintains a list of local addiction and mental health treatment options on a free smart phone app GetHelpNowMontgomeryCounty, as well as online screening tools at http://www.mcadamhs.org under “Treatment & Support” tab.
  3. Sign up for Know! E-Alerts. Know! Parent Tips, part of Ohio’s “Start Talking! Building a Drug-Free Future” campaign, provides twice-monthly emails for parents, guardians and caregivers with tips that contain current facts about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, as well as action steps they can take to help children resist peer pressure. http://starttalking.ohio.gov/Prevention/KNOW.aspx
  4. Complete a Mental Health First Aid course. This 8-hour course will equip you on how to start a conversation with a family member, friend or co-worker when you recognize they may be experiencing mental health or substance use crisis. To attend a local course contact Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services at 937-443.0416.

The Community Overdose Action Team was established to address the opioid/heroin epidemic in Montgomery County.  The goal is to stabilize the number of people dying from drug overdoses. Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services and Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County are lead agencies in the effort to combat the epidemic.

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