LAWTON, Oklahoma (KSWO) – The Comanche Nation is tackling the opioid crisis by offering free drugs that can reverse overdoses.
Drug use is common in seven out of 10 households on the Kiowa-Comanche Apache Reservation, officials said. In an emergency, Narcan nasal spray can save the life of a person who may have overdosed.
Gabriel Pelayo, leader of the Community Opioid Intervention Pilot Project, said a small bottle could mean the difference between life and death.
“It sprays into their receptors in their nose and will basically reverse what’s going on with the opioids connecting to the receptors in your brain and basically push them off the receptors so you can stop the overdose,” said Pelayo.
A $500,000 grant, paid over three years, will help the Comanche Nation provide individuals with free Narcan after a short training session.
“We have statistics that it’s affecting aboriginal homes as well, even if they’re younger than other communities,” Pelayo said, “so I think it’s really damaging to the home environment and how that’s affecting the rest of their livelihoods.” “
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Pelayo says you never know when someone you care about might need it.
“At the end of the day, it’s about saving lives,” Pelayo said. “There were people I spoke to that I did the training with and they had given the box to a relative of theirs who they knew had an opioid problem and they actually used it and it saved their lives. ”
You don’t have to be an Indian to take the training, and Pelayo will even come to you to make it easy for you.
“I try to make it really convenient if I have to come to her work or maybe her whole office wants to do it,” Pelayo said. “If they want to do it here in our outpatient center or in our residential center.”
For more information, you can contact Pelayo at 580-919-8831 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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