By Teri Vance
Drake Dembke has lost two friends to opioid overdose. One was dropped off by his friends in front of the emergency room, the other was left by the side of the road.
“As a recovering heroin addict myself, I’ve seen what it does,” he said. “It sucks.”
Working with the Life Change Center, Dembke — now three years clean — spends his time helping others.
In tandem with Hannah McDonald, director of Partnership Carson City, Dembke hosted a workshop for residents of Richards Crossing on Friday.
Richards Crossing provides housing for homeless and extremely low-income residents as well as job training, life skills coaching and related supportive services.
Dembke trained residents how to use the nasal spray Naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.
He outlined how to recognize an overdose and instructed participants to call for emergency services in addition to administering the overdose antidote.
“This is essentially the same thing that the EpiPen does,” McDonald said. “All it does is give them enough time for a medical professional to step in.”
Dawn Gadwill was happy to receive the training and two ready doses of Naloxone. She said she has a daughter who is more than three years sober and another who is trying to quit after 10 years of using.
“I have two friends who lost sons to overdose,” Gadwill said. “I know many people who are playing in the bad pool of suffering.”
McDonald said addicts and prescription pill users should carry the drug, along with people who might encounter an overdose.
Ryan Smith opted to carry it with him.
“I work in a casino, and I clean restrooms,” he said. “You never know what you might see.”
McDonald also distributed Deterra drug-deactivation kits for safe disposal of prescription medication and other drugs.
To request a personal disposal kit for medications or to schedule a Naloxone training, call Partnership Carson City at (775) 841-4730.
Prescription drug roundup scheduled
As part of the federal Drug Roundup initiative, Partnership Carson City is setting up drug roundup stations 9 a.m.-1 p.m. April 27, in front of both Save Mart Supermarkets, 3620 N. Carson and 4348 S. Carson streets; Smith’s Food & Drug Store, 559 E. William St.; and FoodMaxx, 3325 Highway 50 E.
“We do this to make our trash disposal system and water supply safe,” said Hannah McDonald, director of Partnership Carson City. “We don’t want medicine and supplies left dangerously unattended in the trash or flushed down the toilet. We also want to help cut down on drug abuse, mistaken use and access for children.” Bring syringes in a sealed, hard plastic or tin container. Pills should be brought in a bottle or plastic bag.