In a move to demonstrate that Dearborn has been more proactive than reactive when it comes to opioid abuse and overdoses, Mayor Abdullah Hammoud and Public Health Director Ali Abazid installed at least two Narcan vending machines at the John D. Dingell Transit Center on Wednesday. unveiled the first from
Located within the lobby of the train station, 21201 Michigan Avenue, the vending machine carries individual packages of Narcan that can be obtained for free. The program allows the Dearborn public to obtain units of Narcan—a life-saving drug proven to reverse overdoses—at a convenient central location at no cost to residents.
The purpose of a Narcan vending machine is not only to obtain the drug in case of emergency, but also to have it ready and stocked for people to use when a friend or family member is in need of anti-opioid medication. Is.
“We are actively encouraging everyone to have access to Narcan,” Hamood said.
Stocking up on Narcan was a preventive measure, he said.
“Let’s say it’s like putting out a fire,” he said. “You want to have this in your home. You hope you never have to use a fire extinguisher, but it’s always good to have one on hand.
Both Hammoud and Abzeid said there are several locations throughout the city where individuals in need of Narcan can obtain it for free.
“It’s a vending machine, but it’s not the only access point to Narcan,” Hammoud said. “And so, if you go to the Dearborn Public Health website, they actually have a map of every place you can go and get Narcan at no cost, including access centers , which are on the east end, as well as other pharmacies.”
There are no cameras where the vending machine is located and no one is monitoring the machine, so anyone using it can do so anonymously.
Narcan is a nasal spray used to treat a known suspected opioid overdose emergency. Naloxone is the active ingredient and competes with opioids to bind to the same receptors in the brain to reverse the effects of overdose.
Narcan has no monetary street value.
“Dearborn is only the second city in the state of Michigan to have a formal public health department,” Abazid said.
Due to the vision of the mayor with the establishment of the department and the approval of the City Council, the Department of Public Health is responding to the opioid overdose crisis in both a “locally and culturally appropriate manner”.
“Dearborn is not immune to the pain and devastation of the opioid epidemic,” he said. “Our work is about reducing harm and bringing life-saving interventions to those closest to the pain. Narcan is proven to save lives during overdose emergencies. This drug works. Without stigma, shame, or judgment.” Making it easily accessible is our top priority.
At the press conference, Dearborn City Councilman Ken Paris asked Hammoud and Abzeid who was being provided with opioid antidepressants.
“Is it targeting a group or individuals that might be in the area in excess and know it’s here if we publicize it enough?” Paris asked. “Or is it more what a lot of other communities across the country have done? Let people know it’s available. So, encouraging people to come and get Narcan for free so they can bring it home with them or keep it for their family members or friends who they know are possibly vulnerable?
“The latter is more proactive and the option we prefer,” Abzeid said. “You know, you obviously always want to have it on hand.”
“It’s not only for the family friend or loved one, but also for that person to know that they’re out there suffering. I’m trying to walk the path of recovery, but obviously, you know, what you Anything can happen, can wait for that.
Hammoud cited a recent example where two friends were in a car when the other began to overdose. Terrified by what was happening, the other friend fled the car, while his friend died of an overdose. If either of them had had the Narcan, the friend would still be alive.
Dearborn police responded on November 14 to a home on Calhoun Street on Dearborn’s east side where two people were not breathing and unresponsive. Pending toxicology reports, police believe both deaths were the result of an opioid overdose.
“We’ve had about 70 (overdoses) to date,” said Dearborn Police Chief Issa Shaheen.
Shaheen said her department has responded to about 600 mental health calls since the beginning of the year.
Shaheen said all police officers have Narcan doses in their vehicles.
When asked how many runs the DPD has done where they gave Narcan to a victim and saved their life, Shaheen said, “I don’t have numbers on how many times we’ve administered it, but I know it’s a lot.” is less. “
“I think heroin and crack cocaine are probably the two most prevalent illegal drugs (in Dearborn),” Shaheen said.
He added that there is no defined user or demographic that abuses either drug more.
“It is indiscriminate,” Shaheen said. “Everyone can be a victim of the epidemic of substance abuse.”
Abazid presented a map of Dearborn in which clusters of yellow dots denote areas within the city where the most drug or mental health police operations are conducted. On the west side, most of the runs converge around the intersection of Telegraph Road and Michigan Avenue. To the east, most of the runs converge on an area bordered by Michigan Avenue to the north, Schaefer Road to the west, and Prospect Avenue to the south and east. The third largest number of runs appear along Warren Avenue on the north side of the city.
Dearborn City Councilwoman Leslie Herrick attended the press conference and was proud of Hammood’s efforts to stem the flow of overdose deaths in the city, but was also concerned about the availability of Narcan vending machines in the areas where they are most frequent. were doing well
“If you’re in a crisis situation, it can be difficult to be able to find a machine anywhere in the country,” she said. “But the mayor talked about it being a first in the state. And hopefully at some point people can track where they can get emergency drugs like Narcan, as well as making it more available.” You can also get information about
“It’s a concern in every community across the United States that we’re seeing families affected by this, who are addicts. And especially in Dearborn, they talk about how it’s a stigma that people have about it. Not ready to talk about.
The city’s health department received free units of Narcan at no cost to the city under a Narcan standing order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He also acquired a vending machine as a donation from the Islamic Center of Detroit.
The department continues to work closely with community partners, including Access’s Substance Use Prevention Team and its ASAP Rapid Response Team, to “combat addiction through prevention, treatment and recovery.”
“This vending machine will save lives,” said Abzeid. “Narcan works. We want people to have easy access to Narcan. Everyone should have access to it. But if you have a friend or family member struggling with opioid use disorder or substance abuse dependence, Then you should definitely take Narcan. We are excited that this will be just one spoke on a very large wheel of many other initiatives and programs that we will launch in the future.