Bartenders, gas station clerks, hotel housekeepers — those are just some of the people The Perfectly Flawed Foundation is looking to train to use naloxone this week.
Perfectly Flawed, along with Buddy’s Purpose and Dusty Roads, opened its doors in La Salle on Friday to train individuals on how to use the opioid overdose-reversal drug.
The groups had 100 red “Overdose Rescue Kits” available at the event, and organizers hope to have them all distributed to area residents and businesses by the end of the week.
“It’s harm reduction,” said Lori Brown, founder of Buddy’s Purpose. “It’s like a seatbelt, a bicycle helmet or a fire extinguisher.”
Brown along with Luke Tomsha and Jeff Erickson of Perfectly Flawed and Debbie Hallam of Dusty Roads ran the training sessions.
The kits contain a syringe and three vials of naloxone, which has been used in the medical field for decades. Naloxone works specifically against opioids and not other drugs such as cocaine or alcohol. However, Brown said administering the shot, even if a person is not overdosing on opioids, will not harm them.
“Don’t be afraid to try it. It’s not going to hurt,” she said.
Naloxone is the overdose antidote that Narcan delivers, Narcan is a brand for a specific device.
Brown said she has been training people to use naloxone kits for several years now and she knows of at least 20 people who have been saved thanks to the training.
She also said the opioid reversal drug once saved her son Justin “Buddy” Pratt, the namesake of her organization. He died
“It gave me an extra year with him,” she said. “I’m so thankful for it.”
Buddy Pratt died in 2011. He was 26. While the kits are free to anyone looking for the training, they don’t come free for the groups distributing them. Erickson said they pay for the naloxone through grants and donations from a provider. And that medical provider has to see that the product is going toward its intended purpose.
“If we don’t show that we are saving people and handing it out, then they’ll stop distributing it,” Brown said.