7th Annual Lockport International Overdose Awareness Day Rally

7th Annual Lockport Overdose Awareness Day Transcript

Host: Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL).

Our guest today is Doug Bisher, Addict to Addict (A2A) peer support specialist at Niagara County, and I'm your host Ernie Churchwell. Welcome to the program Doug.

Guest: Thanks for having me, Ernie.

Host: It's our pleasure. You're here because you have the entire low down on a big event that Independent Living of Niagara County and particularly A2A program have been involved with for a number of years. What can you tell us about the Lockport Overdose Awareness Day Rally?

Guest: Well, this is the 7th Lockport International Overdose Awareness Day Rally. It's being held this year on Thursday, August 31st. Its start time is 5:00 p.m. and it should end around 8:00 p.m. And we have six different speakers from different backgrounds.

We have Judge Watson from the Lockport treatment court, Sheriff Mike Filicetti.

Dr. Martinez from ECMC from the Hep C clinic up there and we have three family members who have been affected by overdose in their family, some who have had fatal overdoses and some whose children or child rather is in recovery and sustained recovery at this point, along with the flameless candlelight vigil.

We have a memorial table to honor the loved ones that people have lost. We have free Narcan training that will be available and tons of agencies from within our community and from outside of our community in the neighboring counties as well that will be there and that's at 400 East Avenue, Veterans Memorial Park, and that's in Lockport, NY, 14094. And we'll also be streaming it live on our stream yard on our Facebook page at A2A Niagara as well.

Host: Boy, that sounds like quite the experience. Before we go much farther for people that are not initiated with circumstances having to do with overdoses and whatnot, could you tell them just what Narcan is?

Guest: Yes, so Narcan is a drug. It's a no harm drug and it saves lives. It reverses opioid overdoses. And there's been a lot of progress that's been made with Narcan. Matter of fact, our A2A program is part of the Opioid Task Force Public Awareness Subcommittee in Niagara County. And we just did Narcan trainings at the Niagara County Fair, and we quadrupled our numbers and trainings. We did 253 Narcan trainings, so we just sent 253 Narcan kits to our community in three days and it's just a drug that saves lives, it saved my life over seven and a half years ago. A random stranger had it, so it's something that people should have, whether it's in their car, in their trunk, at home, on the job, anywhere.

Host: And this is something like a nasal spray that can be used without a lot of training?

Guest: It's very simple. It's a three-step; you peel, point and spray. It's really that simple there and we'll be providing that training at the event.

There'll be plenty of agencies out there with Narcan and yes, the Narcan will be available at no cost. The training takes a few minutes and that's it. Along with the information shared with it.

Host: And you use the specialized term like no harm or so something, doesn't that essentially mean that in the event you're not sure that someone is actually having an overdose, if you use the Narcan on them and they're not having an overdose, they're still good. There's no concern about there being a problem with ministered when it's not necessary?

Guest: Yes, has no ill effects to a person unless they have opioid in their system. It only has one purpose, and that's to pull the opioid off the receptors. So, if I don't have opiates in my system, then you spray it in my nose.

If I was passed out in my car because I was tired from work, let's just say, it would have no ill effects on me, except it might just annoy me.

Host: If someone wants to come and participate in this event, do they need to pre-register and is there any charge?

Guest: They do not. They can show up the day of the event.

We'll have a porta potty out there. We're giving away free pizza as well. We have a prayer tent for people there's so many different resources and so many different agencies and pathways of recovery that will also be out there tabling. From Nar-Anon to AA to NA to all kinds of different community resources, we're looking forward to sharing it.

It's grown so much, we actually met as a committee last night. We were talking about how it started with just about 40 or 50 people the first year and where it's at today, I was talking to the mayor about it yesterday and she is beyond impressed.

Host: That's wonderful. Would you believe we're totally out of time? If you could remind people of the date and time and how they can get more information.

Guest: Absolutely. Once again, that's August 31st this month. It's about two weeks away. It's at 400 E Ave., Lockport, NY 14094 at Veterans Memorial Park and if you got any questions hit A2A Niagara up on its Facebook page.

Host: Thanks so much for being with us, Doug.

Guest: Thank you, Ernie.

Host: You've been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today was Doug Bisher, A2A peer support specialist of Niagara County, and I've been your host, Ernie Churchwell