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GCSTOP makes progress reversing overdoses in Guilford County

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Guilford County Solution to the Opioid Problem (GSSTOP) is making progress in its mission to decrease overdose deaths.

GCSTOP’s program officially launched in March.

Since then, the group has distributed 66 naloxone rescue kits.

“They’ve all gone into the hands of people that are directly impacted, so people that are likely to overdose or [are] around people that are likely to overdose. From our participants, we’ve heard of 20-plus reversals or rescues done with these kits,” program navigator Chase Holleman said.

GCSTOP also has approximately 40 people participating in syringe exchange.

Holleman says not forcing people into treatment, but meeting them where they are is working.

“For a long time we’ve been trying the ‘just say no’ approach and even throwing people in cages if they don’t do what we ask of them and it hasn’t worked very well,” he said.

The group focuses on building trust with people.

Like Holleman, Guillermo Tremols had his own struggles with addiction, but got clean.

He’s an intern with GCSTOP as he pursues his license as a clinical addiction specialist.

“Just knowing that there’s people out there that care and that are willing to help me in whatever decisions I choose to make, I think that would have made a big difference for me and that’s part of what is so amazing about working with this program,” Tremols said.

GCSTOP gets most of its referrals through its partner Guilford EMS, but the group also does targeted outreach.

If you or someone you know needs help call (336) 505-8122.