The day was filled with hope and resilience as one by one, stories of recovery were hung on the wall of the Agriplex at the Okanogan County Fairgrounds. They ranged from personal stories of addiction to those affected by a family member’s use, but all are powerful and remind us why celebrating recovery is so important:
“41 years ago this December, my dad gave our family the greatest gift ever. I barely remember his drinking days now. I do, however, value every day I get to spend with him and all the great memories we’ve made over the years. Thanks Dad!”
“Every day is getting a little better. Realizing that I am not alone and I am a valuable person. I am important.”
“Three years ago I was fed up with my life and knew it was time to stop drinking and change my ways. That’s when it happened! I got baptized and my eyes were opened. I left my old ways behind. I’ve been sober and serving God for three years. My life is fulfilling now and I am not using alcohol to cover the pain. All things are possible with God!”
(Photo – stories of recovery showcased at the September 22nd National Recovery Month event hosted in Okanogan County. Photo by NCACH)
In honor of National Recovery Month, Okanogan Behavioral Health Care and Family Health Centers in Omak joined together to bring a day-long celebration of recovery and community on September 22. The event showcased a series of guest speakers, slam poets, and long-time recovery advocate and country musician, Jason DeShaw.
(Photo – event flyer from the National Recovery Month event. Used with permission)
Attendees came from all over Okanogan County to support and celebrate recovery. Community organizations and healthcare clinics offered activities like making your own stress squeeze ball, take-home bird feeders, and more.
NCACH was pleased to attend and offer naloxone training and take-home naloxone kits for those who may need them for themselves or loved ones. Naloxone is an opioid-overdose reversal medication that can used one-time to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and is becoming a common part of a standard first-responders’ first-aid kit. It is an “opioid antagonist” which means that it blocks opioid receptor sites in the brain which can reverse the toxic effects of an overdose.
(Photo – NCACH staff, Sahara, Christal, and NCACH Opioid Project Intern, Navind, at the National Recovery Month event on September 22. Photo by NCACH)
With funding from local managed care organizations, Coordinated Care and Amerigroup, the take-home naloxone kits included: Narcan (naloxone nasal spray, one-time dose), exam gloves, alcohol prep pads, and a CPR face mask. Training was offered to anyone interested in learning more about naloxone and what to do in the event of an opioid overdose. The take-home naloxone kits were given to those who indicated that they or someone they knew used opioids (prescription or illicit) in an anonymous in-take survey.
(Photo – Narcan is a naloxone nasal spray medication that can be used to reverse opioid overdoses. Photo by NCACH)
(Photo – NCACH Opioid Project Intern, Navind, gives a one-on-one training on naloxone and how to use it in the event of an opioid overdose. Photo by NCACH)
As a part of NCACH’s commitment to Addressing the Opioid Epidemic Public Health Crisis under the Medicaid Transformation, NCACH has dedicated resources and funding to provide naloxone trainings and take-home naloxone kits to those in need. Trainings can be one-on-one or for groups. Take-home naloxone kits will be distributed by order of need and proximity to those who are actively using opioids. If you would like to learn more about naloxone trainings, contact: Christal.firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about naloxone and opioid overdose, please visit: stopoverdose.org
To learn more about NCACH’s approaches to Address the Opioid Epidemic Public Health Crisis, please visit: NCACH.org/Opioid-Project