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August 31st doesn’t just mark the end of summer, the 31st also serves as the International Overdose Awareness Day all around the world. However, here in Alpena the Sunrise Center held an event dedicated to spreading awareness of drug overdoses.

Madeleine McConnell the Executive Director of  Sunrise Center said, “So, every year on this day we try to do a day awareness event and an opportunity for people to get Narcan so we can be a part of the solution and support more awareness, a reduction in stigma and access to the life saving medication.”

Narcan comes in one of two ways, either a syringe filled with the life saving medication or in a nasal spray form, which is what the Sunrise Center was handing out to residents. However, there’s still much confusion as to what Narcan is exactly. Madeleine says, “You know there has been a lot of information circulating over the last number of years about Narcan. It is much like a defibrillator for people that have a heart attack, this is not an ongoing medication it’s simply a lifesaving medication that boots the opioids out of those opioid receptors, so that somebody can be revived to then go on and get the treatment that they need.”

Madeleine also had a special message for those who are wanting to learn more about Narcan or wanting to start their road to recovery. She adds, “S0unrise Center is here to provide support even if that support is conversation to help educate people on the disease of addiction and what resources there are. We have recovery coaches, counseling, we have in–patients and out–patients treatment services in case and case management. The resources in our region are plentiful and we encourage people to reach out to connect.”