Kyla and Tiffany outside in a parking lot smiling and holding up their NARCAN certificates.

On October 20th, 2018, the Kenai Public Health Center took a big step and presented the first community emergency preparedness distribution and education drive-thru drill. Our very own Consumer Direct Care Network (CDCN) Alaska team members, Tiffney Carlson and Kyla Besse, shined as they volunteered their time and became trained educators (represented in the image above). They had the opportunity to educate our local Senator, Peter Micciche, on emergency preparedness distribution and what it means.

The emergency drill and training was to prepare communities for an emergency event requiring mass distribution of life-saving medicine. The national opioid epidemic has rapidly grown into this decade’s public health crisis. In 2016, opioids were involved in more than 42,000 deaths in the United States, five times higher than in 1999. In Alaska, the opioid death rate increased 77% from 2010 to 2017. Controlling opioid epidemic deaths requires a wide range of strategies including the broad distribution of naloxone (brand name Narcan). With simple step by step education, the immediate administration of Narcan can reverse an overdose and save a life. Conducting this drill with Narcan was intended not only to bring awareness to the overall opioid problem in our nation and Alaska, but also helps educate and put lifesaving products into the community. The event was held in partnership by the Alaska Division of Public Health, Change 4 the Kenai, Kenai Peninsula Points on Prevention, the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management, Alaska Army National Guard and the Re-entry Coalition.

This is a great step for our communities to take in order to address the challenges presented by the opioid epidemic and the need to distribute life-saving medicine during an emergency. We are glad to be involved and thank Tiffany and Kyla for representing CDCN-AK in this effort.

Red and white life-preserver with text on it that says lifeline for Alaskans. Text underneath that says everyone may become a hero.