The Importance of Naloxone in Recovery Housing
The phone rings one morning; it’s another recovery housing operator. “Thank God we had that narcan, it literally saved a guy. Had we not had it, he definitely wouldn’t have made it.” This unfortunately and fortunately is a discussion many working in the trenches have all definitely had.
Naloxone must be in all Recovery Housing in South Carolina. Fentanyl is on the streets being distributed like nothing we’ve ever seen and as we get well into 2020 and begin to get overdose numbers from 2019, one thing is evident: The numbers are rising dramatically and COVID -19 has brought on a whole new set of problems and challenges. Recovery house operators were already facing mounting challenges from all sides; lack of funding, no real training and collaboration, little encouragement or appreciation for the vital service they provide in the community.
How do we keep our residents safe? At what point do we not take referrals? What if we have an outbreak? How can we sustain financially? In all this, how can we make sure we are ready for the inevitable overdoses? We as recovery housing operators are already dealing with and helping some of the most vulnerable citizens in our communities. We see overdoses in restaurants, shopping malls, as well as in our family and friends homes. We unfortunately also see them in recovery housing, yet recovery housing falls under a whole set of criticism and judgment from most who have no idea the day to day challenges.
Most recovery housing have full time staff, trained staff and residents on harm reduction, the administration of Naloxone, CPR, first aid. The problem is there are no lockdown policies in recovery housing and as vigilant as we all can be, we can’t watch someone 24/7. We can provide naloxone for each resident and make sure everyone on property knows how to administer it. We must have open discussions about our policies in regards to residents having possession of naloxone and training on its use. The state must make naloxone available across the board to recovery housing and to housing that caters to an at-risk population for substance use disorder and overdoses.
That’s why we need organizations like the South Carolina Recovery Housing Association to have open dialogue, training, and advocacy in regards to naloxone for these high risk citizens that depend on our vital services. The South Carolina Recovery Housing Association is working in coalition with recovery housing operators to make sure we have the safest environment possible for those seeking our services in our great state. If you are a recovery housing operator and need assistance with naloxone, please reach out to us. This is an open judgement free zone and together the best is yet to come.
Written By: Mike Todd