A multi-sector, broad-based coalition of more than 20 local organizations, businesses and institutions has launched the Know Overdose Nevada County campaign to increase knowledge and awareness about drug overdose risks and harm reduction strategies to prevent overdoses and deaths.
Like many other communities across the state and country, Nevada County has seen an increase in overdose deaths in the past few years. This has largely been a result of synthetic opioids, particularly fentanyl, entering the local drug supply.
The diversity of Know Overdose Nevada County’s coalition members, which includes local businesses, education institutions, health care providers and non-profits, reflects the urgent need for a community-based harm reduction approach to increase community awareness and prevent overdose deaths.
Know Overdose Nevada County’s goals are to:
- Prevent deaths from drug overdoses
- Keep people safer when using drugs
- Connect people who use drugs and their support networks to resources and information
Know Overdose Nevada County works to achieve these goals through education and training on overdose prevention and harm reduction strategies, connecting people to resources, and increasing access to harm reduction tools like naloxone (brand name Narcan) and fentanyl test strips.
Since the summer of 2020, many organizations have started including naloxone in their first aid kits, training staff and community members on how to use it, and becoming distributors of naloxone through the state’s Naloxone Distribution Project to ensure clients and community members can access the life-saving medication.
With fentanyl now widespread in the street drug supply, it is important for everyone in the community to be aware of overdose prevention strategies, where to get naloxone and how to use it, and where they can get more information about harm reduction. Together, we can save lives.
For more information about the Know Overdose Nevada County campaign, overdose prevention and harm reduction strategies, or to learn where to access free naloxone visit www.KnowOverdoseNC.com.
Quotes from Campaign Supporters
“BriarPatch is a community hub, and we are proud to support efforts to reduce overdose deaths in our community. As a naloxone (Narcan) distribution point, we know we are helping to lower risk and save lives through access and education. These are proven strategies that destigmatize drug use, create awareness, and stimulate a collaborative approach to solving the problems we face.”
Chris Maher, General Manager, BriarPatch Food Co-op
“As an organization that often serves vulnerable populations – youth and families – harm reduction is incredibly important. Together, we can reduce the risk of overdose in Nevada County.”
Jennifer Singer, Executive Director, Bright Futures for Youth
“Gateway Mountain Center wholeheartedly shares the Know Overdose commitment to harm reduction. Compassion, respect and dignity are at the core of the harm reduction approach— which works, heals, and truly changes lives. We likewise believe in the necessity of connecting people who use drugs with networks of caring support, helping them build authentic relationships, and discover the gifts that emerge from helping and being present for each other. It is absolutely critical that harm reduction efforts gain momentum in our communities. We are thrilled to be joining forces with Know Overdose to keep people safe and hope alive.”
Peter Mayfield, Executive Director, Gateway Mountain Center
“It is amazing to see how the stigma surrounding substance use has begun shifting in society as we realize that we must rethink our conceptions around opioids due to the urgency of fentanyl hitting our communities so hard. When we look at Narcan and other harm reduction strategies as any other first aid response, we can save lives and help heal hearts.”
Shannon Decker, Executive Director & Co-Founder, The Speedy Foundation
“In order to save our kids and families who are suffering during this opioid epidemic, we must come together as a community and work to provide necessary support, resources, and education. Chapa-De Indian Health is proud to be a part of this critically important coalition as we work to increase awareness about overdose risk and ways to reduce the harm being caused by fentanyl.”
Dr. Alinea Stevens, Medical Director and Physician at Chapa-De Indian Health
“It is encouraging to see our local Public Health office striving to respond to this crisis with a proactive and harm-reduction influenced approach. Overdose death is a Public Health emergency and requires their attention as much as ours.”
Bethany Wilkins, Director, Yuba Harm Reduction Colllective
“Community Beyond Violence (CBV) is an organization that works to provide support and resources to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as working to create a safe and secure environment for the broader community which includes offering our clients information and supplies on harm reduction. That is why we are signing on to support the Know Overdose campaign.”
Marah DeFlavia, Prevention Supervisor, Community Beyond Violence
“We believe improving access to information and resources, as well as increasing awareness of harm reduction strategies, such as the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone, are an important part of preventing overdose deaths.”
Erin Mettler, Interim Director of Nevada County Public Health Department.