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  • baltimoresue

Saturday, February 11

Today was a critically important day for Love & Cornbread. It marks the official start of our role as an Overdose Response Program (ORP) certified by the State of Maryland Health Dept. We are now offering free naloxone (aka Narcan) to our guests every week. Thanks to the State of MD, we receive large quantities of this medicine at no cost. Narcan is an easy to administer nasal spray that reverses opioid overdose immediately. Narcan saves lives. Anyone can use it, and everyone should have it. It does no harm if used on someone who is not overdosing but unconscious for some other reason.

As always, the conversations with our guests open my eyes and simultaneously break/heal my heart. Some things we heard today while handing out Narcan:

  • My husband overdosed and we didn't have any Narcan so he died.

  • I work around the corner from here and I Narcan three people a week in my store.

  • I've saved a bunch of people. I'll take a couple.

  • I manage a sober living house. I'd love a bunch of them.

  • If you give me that whole box of Narcan, I'll make it my mission to give it out to everyone I see today and help save some lives. (This was Levi. Thank you and bless you, Levi.)

As we handed out the Narcan, we asked people to let us know next week if they saved someone from an overdose so we could thank them and celebrate them. I know that I will feel both relieved and devastated to hear that the kits we're giving out saved lives. But as always, the community of Penn North gently reminded me that they have always had each other's backs, long before L&C showed up and long after we leave.

We'll have more info soon on volunteer and general public trainings for anyone who is interested in receiving and learning how to use Narcan. You don't need to administer Narcan to save a life - you may be the bystander who has some in their car and hands it to someone else to administer. Stay tuned for more info re sign ups.

And p.s. It was an amazing, beautiful day with a record-breaking 24 volunteers, gorgeous turkey, barley, & kale soup (WHY DO I ALWAYS OVERDO THE BARLEY? PLEASE SEND HELP.) and the world's best chocolate chip cookies.

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