(Chelsea, MI) – Free fentanyl testing strips and Narcan nasal spray is now available to anyone in our community. Narcan is the brand name for the nasal spray medication known as naloxone, an opioid reversal medication that can be used in a suspected opioid overdose.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the drug supply has rapidly changed, and what looks like medications – bought online or shared among friends and family members – can contain fentanyl or other potent illicit substances that can result in overdose. Raising awareness about these risks is important.

Opioid overdoses and drug poisonings are on the rise. Accidental overdoses occur because some drugs are illegally laced with fentanyl, or some residents mix pain medications not knowing that harm may occur. In an effort to reduce unnecessary deaths and injury from accidental overdose and poisoning, 5 Healthy Towns Foundation (5HF) is partnering with the Recovery Opioid Overdose Team (ROOT) and Home of New Vision https://homeofnewvision.org/ to increase awareness about the risks of opioid use and to improve harm reduction measures for youth and adults.

According to Steve Petty, 5HF CEO, “raising awareness about and reducing the stigma of alcohol and other substances is supported by One Big Thing, an initiative in partnership with mental health community organizations. Narcan is on our radar because of the rising trends in drug related deaths and naloxone administrations by Emergency Medical Service (EMS) professionals in our region. By making Narcan available, any parent, friend or relative can add this to their home first aid kit and be better prepared to respond to drug poisoning or overdose. We hope to save a life by making Narcan more available in our community.”

Nationally, opioid overdoses have risen 400% in the past decade. In Washtenaw County alone, 457 suspected drug related deaths occurred over the period January 2018 to February 2023. Over the same period, our county EMS providers have administered Naloxone 1637 times. Including 66 occurrences in Chelsea, Dexter, Manchester, Grass Lake, and Scio Township.

To learn more about Narcan administration, and how to tell if someone is overdosing, scan this QR code and watch the YouTube video for a quick naloxone training.

The Narcan supply box is located at 14800 E. Old US-12 in front of the 5HF office. For more information, contact Matt Pegouskie or Lori Kintz, at 734-433-4599.