6/26/2017 - Overdose Prevention Workshop and Community Discussion Planned for Thursday, June 29th in Washington County
On June 29th, 2017, Bangor Public Health and Community Services (BPHCS) and Pembroke Library will host a community presentation aptly named “Be a Lifesaver” to educate the public about opioid overdose emergency response, risk factors, and treatment and recovery resources . This event will take place at the Pembroke Library, located at 221 Old County Road in Pembroke on June 29th from 4:30-6:00 pm. Following this presentation, community members will have an opportunity to discuss this important issue.
Opioids include illicit substances such as heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil, as well as legal prescription pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, etc.
In 2016, 376 Mainers died from drug overdoses- an increase of almost 40% from 2015 (1). Nearly all these deaths, more than 8 in 10, involved opioids (1). The most likely individuals to witness and possibly intervene during an opioid overdose are friends and family.
“For people not yet in recovery, their friends, family or anyone concerned with their safety, knowing the signs and symptoms of an overdose as well as how to respond appropriately can be essential to preserving lives,” says Heath Myers, Overdose Prevention Coordinator at Bangor Public Health and Community Services.
In recent years, Maine’s increase in overdose deaths ranked among the steepest in the nation with the 3rd highest increase from 2013-2014 (2) and 4th highest increase from 2014-2015 (3). Per capita, Washington County has been the hardest hit county in Maine with an overdose rate exceeding the 2nd highest county by nearly 60% (1).
The goals of this event are to educate members of the community about emergency response and risk factors related to opioid overdose, and to encourage discussion and collaboration among law enforcement, healthcare providers, lawmakers, people in recovery, people not yet in recovery, friends, family, and concerned community members.
1. Sorg, M.H. (2016). Expanded Maine drug death report 2016. Orono, ME: Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center.
2. Rudd, R.A., Aleshire, N., Zibbell, J.E., & Gladden, R.W. (2016). Increase in drug and opioid overdose death-United States, 2000-2014. Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, 64(50), 1378-1382.
3. Rudd, R.A., Seth, P., David, F., & Scholl, L. (2016). Increase in drug and opioid overdose death- United States, 2000-2015. Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, 65, 1445-1452.
The City of Bangor, Maine is a service center community of 33,039 residents and is the county seat of Penobscot County. Bangor is the major commercial and cultural center for much of northern and eastern Maine. The City is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. For information on City projects and news, see www.bangormaine.gov.