Truth Pharm Continues to Battle Overdose with the Help of Local Organizations
Truth Pharm is a non-profit organization that raises awareness, reduces stigma, and advocates for policy change to reduce harm from substance abuse.
Truth Pharm has continued to battle overdose and addiction with the implementation of its NaloxBox initiative, funded by a grant from the Broome County Healing Communities study received in 2023.
There are over 50 boxes throughout Broome County, placed in areas of high traffic and open to the public.
"We're(Broome County) highly impacted because we've lost a lot of people to overdose or substance use-related causes. And the only way to stop that is to be able to make sure that person doesn't actually die that day," says Kathy Staples, Office Manager at Truth Pharm.
Each of the boxes contains Narcan/Naxolone, which is a drug that can rapidly reverse opioid overdose.
The boxes also contain Fentanyl test strips and Xylazine test strips, Which are two harmful substances commonly linked to drug overdose.
NaloxBoxes can be found at local churches, community centers, local organizations, and some places of business.
One place that recently received a NaloxBox is Stellar Human, a vintage clothing store on the east side of Binghamton.
"Obviously we do the vintage clothing, but to be able to have the community have access to something that could very well save a life. It's very, very important to me," says LaRue Simmons, Owner of Stellar Human.
Simmons said a shopper approached him and expressed a desire to provide a NaloxBox to his store, given its location and the amount of traffic in the area.
An easy decision to say yes to according to Simmons.
He said, "It was kind of a no-brainer for me, especially with my history, I've dealt with addiction and alcoholism and so it kind of just made sense to have it here."
Truth Pharm was able to distribute over 1,500 doses of Narcan through the boxes last year, something that would not have been possible without the use of the NaloxBoxes.
"They're all the places people frequent in the area and by reducing the barriers to accessing Naloxone so that people have it in their home without fear of like, I have to tell somebody that I need this because my loved one's struggling or I'm struggling. You can just take it and then you have the number one tool to reduce the chance of overdose available in your home at all times," said Staples.
Attributing having Narcan to the difference between life and death in some instances.
Truth Pharm plans to put up at least 10 more boxes throughout 2024.