2022 HEALTH CARE EDITION
TOOLS TO COMBAT DRUG OVERDOSE
NALOXONE, NARCAN Carried by emergency medics and Austin police ocers and are available through many nonprot organizations, including the Texas Harm Reduction Alliance and the Other Ones Foundation
• Four in 10 street/counterfeit pills contain fentanyl. • Roughly 2 milligrams is a fatal dose. • The average pill found on the street contains 0.02-5.1 milligrams with 42% of pills tested having a lethal dose.
Drugs such as methadone and buprenorphine are used in medicine-assisted treatment programs for individuals struggling with opioid dependency
A U.S. penny compared to 2 milligrams of fentanyl
SOURCE: DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
grant covering the span of ve years from the Substance Abuse and Men- tal Health Services Administration to cover treatment for up to 11 people at any time. “I think we’re just on the tip of the iceberg in terms of [the drug epi- demic]. It’s probably going to get a lot worse before it begins to get better,” Anderson said. “I’m glad that Travis County is taking sort of a proactive look at that, but… [$350,000] is not very much money. That’s a drop in the bucket, and that’s not going to spread that far. I think if they want to be really serious about [this], that [amount] should be a lot more.” The nonprot is currently seeking to increase its funds to meet growing
Rollingwood also joined a nationwide multibillion-dollar legal settlement against Johnson & Johnson and three pharmaceutical distributors accused of wrongdoing amid the opioid epidemic. According to state documents, the settlement could allot West Lake Hills $17,056 and Rollingwood $4,754, though the total depends on how many municipalities sign on. The THRA is advocating for ocials to treat overdoses as a health issue, rather than focusing on law enforce- ment. Graziani said research shows the “war on drugs” method of strict enforcement and tough sentencing is not eective and has disproportion- ately targeted communities of color and low-income individuals.
needs, Anderson said. At a recent ses- sion, the organization accounted for 14 individuals, which is already over the budgeted amount, he said. “When people need treatment, they need treatment. We’re maxing out in our funds for this year because we’re serving more people than we thought we would,” Anderson said. A local crisis In 2017, HHS declared the opioid epi- demic a national health crisis. Both Austin and Travis County hope to use settlement funds received from lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors to pay for the measures. In 2021, West Lake Hills and
Though there is a healthy amount of collaboration among recovery communities within Austin, Ander- son with Bee Cave Recovery said there needs to be more coordination on the county level to seriously treat this matter. “I think there needs to be more outreach to providers, and I think there needs to be more opportunities for collaboration—more communi- cation at the community grassroots level, because we’re the ones on the front lines treating these people,” Anderson said.
For more information, visit communityimpact.com .
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