Nearly 20% more Iowans died of drug overdoses in 2020 than in the previous year. Opioids are prescription drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, methadone, codeine and fentanyl.
The powerful narcotic fentanyl became even more prevalent in the recent year, attributing greatly to the increase in overdose deaths in Iowa. Opioid drugs also include heroin, which is a highly addictive, illicit drug made from morphine.
ASAC provides education on opioids, psychostimulants and administering naloxone, which is the drug that reverses opioid overdose. ASAC also provides trainings on Stigma and breaking down how words and actions can affect the recovery outcome. These free trainings are available for community groups and mental and behavioral health professionals interested in drug-specific education.
In order to increase the community’s knowledge of the risks of prescription drug misuse, including opioids, ASAC is sharing the “Prescription Drugs are Still Drugs” campaign across Clinton County. If you visit the NelsonCorp Field, home of the Clinton LumberKings, you may have seen the campaign in the game program, or on the screens in the breezeway. The “Prescription Drugs are Still Drugs” campaign is for all age groups and informs people that when prescription medication is not taken properly, it can be harmful and could result in an overdose.
ASAC Prevention Specialists also partner with area pharmacies to educate the community on the Narcan Dispensing Program. This program allows individuals over 18 years old who may be at risk or are in a position to assist anyone at risk for an overdose to obtain Narcan, a brand of naloxone, free of charge. Naloxone can be shipped to an individual’s home by simply calling Tele-naloxone at 319-678-7825 or logging on to https://www.naloxoneiowa.org.
On Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, from 5-8:30 p.m., Clinton community professionals and community members will hold the fourth annual Overdose and Addiction Awareness Vigil. This year’s theme will be “Ending Addiction Changes Everything”.
The vigil will be held at the Clinton Riverview Bandshell located at 251 Ball Park Drive in Clinton. The event will start with music and resource tables followed by an opportunity for community members to share testimonials. There will be two minutes of silence starting at 8 p.m., one minute for those that have lost their lives and one minute for those still battling substance use disorders. If you are interested in helping to plan or support the event, please call Kristin Huisenga at 563-241-4371 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in having a resource table at the vigil, please contact Ellen Gackle at 563-243-2124, Ext. 609, or email@example.com.
Area Substance Abuse Council, along with Iowa Department of Public Health and Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration funded by Overdose Data to Action, are working on the Opioid Response Grant to help combat the opioid overdose issue that is impacting the state of Iowa as well as Clinton County.