Group handing out naloxone amid spike in overdose deaths in McHenry County
McHENRY Co. - A recent spike in what appears to be overdose deaths in McHenry County has one organization in overdrive.
There were five suspected overdose deaths in the past six days in the county. Now, Live4Lali is walking through communities making sure naloxone, the opiate antidote, is in every hand.
"If you are a human and you encounter other humans, you should carry naloxone," said Live4Lali Executive Director Laura Fry.
While toxicology reports still aren’t finalized, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office released a warning for the public about fentanyl being found in Percocet pills. Overdoses have skyrocketed over the past year. Fry says McHenry county is up 24 percent during the pandemic.
The Executive Director of New Directions says their more than 40 recovery beds are far from being enough during this overdose crisis.
"Right now we have a 60 person waiting list," said Bobby Gattone with New Directons. "You cannot build recovery housing fast enough for everybody who needs it."
The co-founder of Live4Lali is helping push House Bill 110, legislation which would encourage the state to create guidelines for Overdose Prevention Sites, a place where users could take their drugs, use them and if anything happens, like an overdose, someone is there at the site to revive them.
These sites are in other countries, but don’t yet exist in the US.
"We are in the middle of the worst phase of this overdose crisis that’s ever existed," said Chelsea Laliberte Barnes. "To have this idea that we shouldn’t be trying new things, that’s not where we need to be going."
If you need naloxone, the Live4Lali group will get it to you. Go to live4lali.org.