CCHI Enews
March  2014 
In This Issue
**Narcan is the Single Most Important Intervention
** First Responders Carrying Narcan are Saving Lives
** We are Educating Families, Friends and Users
**Special Narcan Trainings are Scheduled for Charlestownl
** Winnisimmet Regional Opioid Collaborative
** The Opioid Overdose Crisis is a Health Care Crisis
SPECIAL EDITION: Mass General Hospital Responds to Opioid Overdose Crisis
We see alarming rates of overdoses in the local communities of Revere, Chelsea and Charlestown, as well as Saugus and Winthrop. Together we have been working for more than 15 years to reduce and prevent substance use disorders in our communities largely through the community coalitions Revere CARES, Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition and Chelsea Leadership Team.
MGH  Responds to Opioid Overdose Crisis
The MGH Center for Community Health Improvement is responding with our community partners to the current crisis of overdoses from heroin mixed with the powerful drug fentanyl. Since the first of the year, there have been 44 overdoses in Revere, 2 of which were fatal. In Chelsea, there have been 16, also 2 fatal. In Charlestown, there were 7 overdoses, 1 fatal. This special edition details ongoing and special efforts to address this crisis

Narcan is the Single Most Important Intervention 
Narcan (naloxone) can be administered intra-nasally (sprayed in the nose) and reverses opioid overdoses, saving lives instantly. Narcan can be administered by anyone, and no harm is caused if Narcan is administered for the wrong reasons. It may take multiple doses of Narcan to revive someone who has overdosed on the deadly heroin/fentanyl combination, and we are educating people about that. Here are the strategies we are pursuing:
First Responders  Carrying Narcan are Saving Lives   

Revere CARES, CCHI's community-based coalition, supported the Revere Fire Department (RFD) to be the state's first fire department to carry Narcan in 2010. In 4 years, the RFD administered Narcan 120. But in the first 6 weeks of 2014, there were 44 overdoses in Revere.  The Winthrop Fire Department began carrying Narcan last July, and has administered 7 doses. The Saugus Fire Department has carried Narcan since last August, and has administered 26 doses, 12 doses since December 1. The Chelsea Leadership Team, a CCHI-supported community coalition, is advocating that both police and fire in Chelsea be equipped with Narcan.

We are Educating Families, Friends and Users    

Free monthly trainings are scheduled in Revere, Chelsea, Winthrop, and Saugus for families and friends of people suffering from addiction, as well as for current users, to learn how to administer Narcan; how to recognize an overdose; when to call 911; and rescue breathing. Due to our special relationship with Mass DPH, Narcan will be distributed at these trainings. A complete list of the trainings in English and in Spanish is here.

Special Narcan Training are Scheduled for Charlestown 

The Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition, along with the Boston Public Health Commission, will provide Narcan and overdose prevention training every 90 days in the recovery community, following the noon Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at 586 Rutherford Ave. CSAC is also working with the resident service coordinators at Newtown, Mishuwam housing developments and the Boston Housing Authority to provide frequent trainings to all residents. CSAC is also providing Narcan training to new Charlestown Recovery House clients. And MGH primacy care providers are encouraged to prescribe Narcan to all patients at risk of opioid overdose as well as to family and friends of users. The MGH Pharmacy carries and provides Narcan to MGH patients. 

 Winnisimmet Regional Opioid Collaborative (WROC) 

Revere received a $300,000, three-year grant to mentor the communities of Chelsea, Revere, Saugus, and Winthrop in preventing overdoses. This collaboration is known as WROC, the Winnisimmet Regioninal Opioid Collaboration. WROC coordinated the monthly Narcan trainings in each of the four communities (above). Within the next 30 days, WROC will meet with residents to review the results of local surveys conducted to determine the factors that drive opioid misuse and overdose and take action.

The Opoid Overdose Crisis is a Health Care Crisis 

Boston has the highest rate of emergency room visits for illicit drug use in the nation. The rate of ER visits for heroin is 4 times higher in Boston than in the rest of the country. MGH is not waiting for these patients to arrive in our emergency department. Recognizing that overdose deaths are a symptom of the underlying disease of addiction, we are working to bring broad change to prevention, treatment, and care across the continuum for patients with substance use disorders. We partner with local communities to prevent opioid use and addiction in the first place, and intervene to prevent overdose and truly put a stop to these tragic deaths. 

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