Overdose saves are a ‘Band-Aid' for a second chance at life

Study finds 1 in 10 don't survive a year

Overdose saves are a ‘Band-Aid' for a...

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. - For the last three years individuals seeking treatment for an opioid addiction have walked through the door of the C.A.R.E program.

Most walk through that door after experiencing an overdose.

“Over the last three years, we have served over 300 clients, and I would say the majority of them have overdosed and have received the Narcan,” said Deborah Johnson, client coordinator for the C.A.R.E. program.

Narcan and naloxone are used to reverse the effect of an opioid overdose.

"It gives them a chance. Narcan and naloxone (are) a Band-Aid. It is basically a Band-Aid to give them a second chance,” Johnson said.

While many use that second chance to seek treatment and reclaim their lives, others use the second chance to overdose again.

A study conducted by Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston found that, of individuals who overdosed and were saved by naloxone, 1 in 10 did not survive for a year.  The study looked at data collected between July 2013 and December 2015.

While the vast majority of clients receiving treatment through C.A.R.E. have had success in recovery, not everyone has.

"To date, I've known of six that are no longer with us, of the 300," Johnson said.

C.A.R.E uses Vivatrol, a drug that takes away the cravings and urge to use opioids, along with counseling.

While the Boston study showed that 1 in 10 addicts saved with naloxone did not survive one year, for the majority, it gave them a chance to seek treatment and recovery.

"It gives them a second chance to go and get the help they need to get their life back, and to take advantage of the resources available to them to improve their life," said Megan, a client in recovery at C.A.R.E.

For more information about the C.A.R.E program call 608-644-0504, extension 12.

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