Open Arms, WalCo DAC team up against overdoses

By Jennifer Eisenbart


Starting this week, the Walworth County Drug and Alcohol Coalition and Open Arms Free Clinic in Elkhorn began an initiative to end drug overdoses.

Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is being provided at Open Arms free of charge.

Narcan is a lifesaving medication that can be administered to an individual in the event of an opiate overdose. Officials in Walworth County, like many other counties across the state, have seen an increase in opiate-related overdose deaths in the last several years.

“We are hopeful that our community will utilize these boxes in overdose situations to save lives,” said DAC board member Emma Madura.

The private, community-based nonprofit, Walworth County Drug and Alcohol Coalition began in July 2017 in effort to address the growing opioid epidemic.

DAC is working to increase community-wide awareness of the scope of the problem and resources available to help, changing the perception of addiction from a moral failing to a chronic disease.

WalCo DAC participates in the Narcan Direct Program through the Wisconsin State Department of Health Services. The program has provided Narcan free of charge to anyone that requests it, with just a simple training.

Traditionally available through community in-person trainings, the Coalition reached out to Open Arms to develop novel approaches to overcome the pandemic-related barriers.

Open Arms strives to improve access to basic health care has provided free medical, dental, and counseling services to over 4,000 low-income, uninsured Walworth County residents to date.

Narcan boxes

WalCo DAC also installed Narcan boxes at various locations in the county, thanks in part to a donation from Serve U RX.

Locations include the New Beginnings APFV, a crisis center in Elkhorn, Twin Oaks homeless shelter in Darien and an unspecified hotel.

A box was also installed at Southeastern Monitoring – a center for servicing treatment in Walworth County. Another box is scheduled to be installed at Gateway Technical College in Elkhorn soon.

For the full story, please see the print editions of the Delavan Enterprise, Elkhorn Independent and Whitewater Register.


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