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Take action, prevent overdose deaths

$7,660 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 66 people in 9 months
Since 2016 I have been working on helping prevent drug overdose by teaching people how to test the drugs they're using and by training in opioid overdose Reversal. Drug use in the US is a reality, it's not something that's going to stop. While testing won't stop drug use it can prevent drug overdose, in turn preventing someone from dying. I have used a substantial amount of my own money. Unfortunately I cannot continue at this pace because doing what I do alone, is a full time job, but although I cannot continue financially at the pace I'm going, the work needs to be done, in order to prevent as many deaths as possible. That is why I am doing this go fund me. I have gone from NJ, to NYC, to DC, to Philly, to Colorado, to Baltimore, Ireland, Paris and a few other places in between. I travel, test, teach to test, provide test strips, and education. This WILL NOT stop this opioid crisis but it will save some lives. In my career I have reversed a fairly large number of Overdoses and trained thousands more how to reverse an overdose, out of those I've trained, hundreds more have reversed Overdoses. We need to step in and help where we can. This is something that is affecting everyone from every ethnicity, religion, and class. It doesn't care if you're rich or poor, if you're black or white, if you're Catholic or Jewish. We need to, if not stop, then at the very least slow down these deaths until something better comes along. The test strips cost me $1 a piece, so as you can well imagine, going thru a box of 100 is very easy. The money I'm asking for is to continue to buy the strips and for travel to all the places I go to help folks out. If you've lost a loved one, or know someone who has, then you know the devastation these Overdoses are causing in people's lives. Help me help others stay alive. You can't make positive changes in your lives if you Overdose and die. Give those folks that chance at making the changes they need, by helping them stay alive.

** The First Count of Fentanyl Deaths in 2016:  Up 540% in Three Year's  By JOSH KATZ  SEPT. 2, 2017 The first governmental account of nationwide drug deaths in 2016 shows overdose deaths growing even faster than previously thought. Drug overdoses killed roughly 64,000 people in the United States last year, according to the first governmental account of nationwide drug deaths to cover all of 2016. It’s a staggering rise of more than 22 percent over the 52,404 drug deaths recorded the previous year — and even higher than The New York Times’s estimate in June, which was based on earlier preliminary data. Drug overdoses are expected to remain the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, as synthetic opioids — primarily fentanyl and its analogues — continue to push the death count higher. Drug deaths involving fentanyl more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, accompanied by an upturn in deaths involving cocaine and methamphetamine. Together they add up to an epidemic of drug overdoses that is killing people at a faster rate than the H.I.V. epidemic at its peak. ~NY Times
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I spent some time in Ohio and met with several people including several public health Depts. I think the meetings went well and gave me insight and info to the folks that can implement more SEP's and fentanyl testing. I believe one of the counties had already agreed to all we talked about and will probably start looking at the funding part. I have several other cities/towns/states that have asked me to come and talk to their officials so besides continuing to give it strips so folks can test, I'll also try to visit other places and help implement programming. This is something that's affecting everyone from all walks if life and all over the country. we have to keep pushing because the overdose death are still rising and we're trying to bring them down. Thank everyone for donating, sharing, and supporting the work I've been doing.
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I have been fortunate enough to be able to train staff from NJSDOH and NJ SAP's, Philly DOH, SAP, and other Philly agencies willing to give out test strips, I'll be training a group of nurses in a DOH state program in August, I'll be doing training for another DOH which I can't name now, but my hope is that everyone has access to testing and the choice to do so if they want. It shouldn't be a problem to find someone who is giving out strips, they should be made available to all those that want and need them, all that plus my daily street outreach and regulars that reach out to me to test and/or give them strips. Since first having the BTNX fentanyl test strips in my hands back in 2016, I have seen changes in many PWUD. After being told by many that this won't work, that PWUD won't change their ways. I am happy to say, it's been a long road but I have seen many changes, From people who didn't want to test now calling me to test or give them strips, to people that were using alone, who have now found someone to use with. Folks that would at one time not know what they were using, to those that come up to me to let me know that so and so stamp is positive and to warning other folks that are using. PWUD care about their health, care about their lives but feel that no one cares about them and are usually treated like shit when they go for services to the points of not going back. The key word in people who use drugs is "PEOPLE" first and foremost and should be treated as such. We have mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, friends, loved ones dying and we have to help. I can't understand the people that stand by and do nothing as if people are disposable. We are someone, we mean something, we are people and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I was talking about methadone programs the other day and someone told me that there are more programs open but people are not using them, well first we have the problem that your open for a few hours and if you're a minute late you are out of luck, and in some cases penalized, then you have the places that are making money off you going there but the staff or some treat you like total shit, then there are those that don't have insurance and no way to get it. You can't say we have services and make them inaccessible or have people that go there treated like shit, they say they don't want help. That's simply not true. Then there are those that for whatever reason can't right now or don't want to, so we have to meet them where they are at and give them the help they want to stay healthy and alive.
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It's been a while, I thought this was deactivated until I received a donation today. I'd like to say, I have and will continue to do the work. I was in Montana for a wedding and found my way to their Harm Reduction agency in Missoula and was able to talk to them about testing and using around fentanyl. We talked harm reduction, funding, housing, HIV, and so on. I'm humbled by all the work people are doing out there. As always, any amount helps and while times can be hard, if you can share with your networks that would be amazing also. Lots of Peace, Love, and Happiness to all of you.
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On my way to Philly to do some testing, drop off testing strips and narcan, drop off wound care supplies, and sit down and talk with a couple folks that have no one to talk too. Just a little of what I do. It's not just testing and traveling, it's about helping in every way possible. Thank all of you for all your help.
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Raised by 66 people in 9 months
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