Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Soles for Soul: Donate shoes, save lives

Each day in the United States 144 people die from fatal drug overdoses; the majority are opioid related.  In Virginia, fatal drug overdoses are the number one cause of unnatural death. During 2016 drug overdose deaths in Virginia increased by 25%. In response to the worsening drug addiction epidemic, the Virginia Department of Health declared the opioid addiction crisis a public health emergency in November 2016.

One way to prevent overdose deaths is to make Naloxone more available to first responders. Naloxone temporarily reverses the effect of opiates by counteracting the life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system, thereby allowing an overdose victim to breathe normally.   In Virginia, the first people to arrive on the scene in a suspected overdose emergency are law enforcement officers. Currently fewer than 10% of law enforcement departments are equipped with Naloxone.

SpiritWorks Foundation has chosen to become part of the solution by teaching others how to respond to opioid overdose. After becoming trainers through REVIVE!, the Opioid Overdose & Naloxone Education Program, we have begun training law enforcement officers, probation & parole officers, family members, community members and individuals on how to use the life-saving reversal drug to prevent fatal drug overdose.

Through June 15, SpiritWorks is holding a fundraiser, Soles for the Soul, to collect shoes to raise money to purchase Naloxone (Narcan) for law enforcement officers. Through Soles for the Soul, SpiritWorks is hoping to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic in our area and to raise funds to help prevent it. Save lives. Donate shoes.

For more information call the Rev. Jan M. Brown or the Rev. Lauren McDonald at 757-903-0000 or leave your gently used shoes in the drop box at the SpiritWorks Foundation Center at 5800 Mooretown Rd. in Williamsburg at any time.