Winston-Salem organization reporting more overdose reversals

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Twin City Harm Reduction Collective in Winston-Salem is reporting a spike in overdose reversals in the first six months in 2019.

The group reported 195 overdose reversals in 2018 and 210 since Jan. 1.

Program Director Rachel Thorney said that stronger drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil could be to blame, along with an increase of people receiving naloxone.

“We’re seeing 130 unique individuals a months right now, we’re signing up a lot of new people,” she said.

Thorney said that as long as people are getting access to Narcan, the increase isn’t a bad thing.

“If they’re still alive, there’s a chance they can either get treatment if they choose to, or whatever the case may be, so definitely not a bad thing at all,” she said.

Capt. Brent Motsinger, with Forsyth County EMS, says they are reporting less naloxone usage in the county and said it could be because of harm reduction initiatives.

He said that they are noticing clusters of reported overdoses recently.

“Before we would see a sporadic overdose here and there it seems that this year we’ve had more instances of bundles of overdoses where you have four or five in a time frame,” Montsinger said.

He added that paramedics may leave extra naloxone with a patient following an overdose and help offer resources.

“We want to make sure that when someone is ready, that we’re there and available to facilitate getting them that treatment that they need,” he said.

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