Home>702Times>Combating the Fentanyl Crisis: Community Outreach Offers Education and Resources in Las Vegas

Combating the Fentanyl Crisis: Community Outreach Offers Education and Resources in Las Vegas

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, February 28, 2024 9:58 am

Las Vegas, NV – In the face of a rising fentanyl crisis, community outreach groups in Las Vegas are working tirelessly to educate the public and offer resources to combat its devastating effects.

Addressing the Surge in Overdose Deaths:

  • An alarming increase in overdose deaths is attributed to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid significantly more potent than heroin.
  • Healthcare workers are continuously battling to save lives and prevent further hospitalizations.

PACT Coalition’s “100 Cups of Coffee” Project:

  • The PACT Coalition, a dedicated community organization, actively engages with people across various neighborhoods through its “100 Cups of Coffee” project.
  • Outreach workers engage with community members over coffee and lunch, asking crucial questions to assess:
    • Prevalence of Drug Use: Identifying the most commonly used substances within each community.
    • Underlying Causes: Understanding the factors driving substance misuse in various areas.
    • Fentanyl Awareness: Gauging the level of knowledge about fentanyl exposure and its dangers.

Highlighting the Dangers of Fentanyl:

  • Krystal Griffin, a project coordinator, emphasizes the alarming reality that fentanyl is often present in various street drugs, including cocaine, meth, and even marijuana.
  • She stresses the importance of education and collaboration, particularly within minority communities, which are disproportionately impacted by overdoses due to a lack of knowledge and access to harm reduction resources.

Providing Harm Reduction Tools and Resources:

  • The PACT Coalition works to bridge this gap through outreach initiatives.
  • They offer essential harm reduction supplies like Narcan, an overdose reversal medication, and fentanyl test strips to help people identify the presence of the drug in their substances.
  • Additionally, they connect individuals to crucial resources like Trac-B, a syringe access program that promotes safe injection practices and reduces the risk of bloodborne illnesses.

Trac-B: A Safe Haven for Support:

  • Michele Jorge, an HIV linkage coordinator at Trac-B, emphasizes the organization’s open-door policy and commitment to aiding the community.
  • They provide a safe space for individuals to:
    • Dispose of used syringes safely.
    • Access new and sterile syringes.
    • Acquire free Narcan and fentanyl test strips.
    • Receive training on using these harm-reduction tools effectively.
    • Connect with available resources and support services.

Urgent Call for Community Action:

  • The ongoing efforts of outreach groups and healthcare professionals highlight the critical need for increased education and harm reduction strategies to combat the fentanyl crisis.
  • As Jorge aptly states, “We need to educate our kids and community. It’s impacting all of us.”

Credits: Fox5Vegas

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