Last year, as As he scrolled through Instagram, Morgan Godvin took a bold swing. The Portland-based editor and loss-reducing activist sent a direct message to the indie rap act atmosphere, asking them to pass the opioid overdose-reversing drug naloxone during their upcoming visit. He did not necessarily expect a response from his DM. It was a wild request. But to Godwin's surprise, the atmosphere not only responded, they agreed with enthusiasm.
Godwin starts working. With the help of a network of volunteers, he gave naloxone (often referred to by its brand name, Narkan) at Atmosphere shows across the country. This was not an easy task, as naloxone is often difficult and expensive to source, and each state has its own rules regarding its distribution. But the effort was quick and clearly fruitful. “At the Albuquerque show, we literally saved people's lives,” Godwin said. “There's a reversal of two overdoses of damage miners: one during the show, one after the parking lot.”
Godwin's company, Beats Overdose, is preparing for another summer tour Not a moment too soon: Drug overdoses are on the rise, with the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention reporting an alarming record of more than 100,000 deaths in 2021. Synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, have contributed significantly to this increase. “The supply of drugs is becoming increasingly unpredictable,” said Sheila Vakharia, deputy director of research and academic engagement at the Drug Policy Alliance. Even those who buy pills need to be careful, Vakharia warns, because counterfeiters are pushing fentanyl to look like a prescription drug like oxycontin. And while this is not an almost common problem, sometimes overdose clusters occur due to inadvertent cross-contamination of cocaine, methamphetamines and other non-opioid drugs with fentanyl. Meanwhile, the weather is getting warmer, people are restless, and the festive season has begun. It’s turning into a hedonistic summer, which is why narcissism is essential.
Godwin is not the only worker walking around in the crowd. Angela Travers-Hayward and William Perry, an Ohio-based couple, recently founded the nonprofit This Must Be the Place with the goal of getting Narcan to a big summer event. Beginning in late May, they will travel to the United States to hand over Narkan to eight festivals, including the legendary Art Festival of Burning Man in Boneru, Tennessee, Wonderstruck, Cleveland, and the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. “We knew everyone would be back and partying this summer, maybe more than they normally would,” Perry said. However, he is concerned about the contamination of the drug supply. “They're going to walk in a buzzing saw.”
Travers-Hayward and Perry decided to target the festivals because they thought there would be a huge population of people who are not habitual drug users but who decide to go crazy. If there is no tolerance, the possibility of overdose is especially high. “We thought, you know, we'll email the festivities, maybe we'll end up in Ohio at one or two,” Travers-Hayward said. “But we are starting to get a good response.” The pair have even had to cancel some festivals because they don't have the bandwidth there. They will pass Narkan from the booth in the field. “We are fortunate that the venues are fully on board.”
That has not always been the case. Colorado-based lawyer Daniel Garcia has been carrying naloxone for a long time and he initially fell into some resistance. Ten years ago, as a volunteer for the long-running public health organization DanceSafe, he went to a show in Denver equipped with naloxone. The venue owners did not allow him to bring it. “They've got a little squirrel,” he says. Garcia recalls that they were worried that they might reject drug use, as they had previously had problems with using drugs on the show. “My counter was, well, you admit that you have all this going on, and you're in trouble for it. Wouldn't it be safer and better to have drugs and services on your dance floor to prevent overdose and death? They didn't buy it. ” But now, Garcia says, he has no problem carrying naloxone. “Everyone is familiar with it. Now, lately, I actually get one Thank you for carrying it“