Hand to Nose – 

Nov. 7, 2020 – Several addiction experts have blamed months of intense stress and isolation for the uptick in drug overdoses. 

The Street Team has spread out on Ridgewood Avenue and the streets that connect to it a couple times in recent months — once on Sept. 19 and again on Oct. 9. Street Team leaders have so far had one instance where a free dose of naloxone was used to revive someone who had suffered an overdose.  With the help ofmore than 50 volunteers on both nights combined, 90 doses of naloxone landed in the hands of drug users on the streets. Besides naloxone, the backpacks held condoms, personal hygiene products and business cards for addiction treatment centers. Snacks and water bottles were also tucked into the drawstring bags. 

“It feels like we’re doing the right thing,” said Sarah Sheppard, the statewide recovery integration specialist for the Florida Department of Children and Families. “We’re hoping to show people that there’s another way to live. We get a lot of push back and the majority of it is people saying we’re enabling them or giving them an excuse. I just think about all of the moms and dads that I work with that have lost children as a result of the disease of addiction. We’re not going to close our eyes and pretend this isn’t our problem.”

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