Scott Nolen, director of OSI-Baltimore’s Drug Addiction Treatment program, joined Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leanna Wen yesterday to announce a new web portal, dontdie.org, that makes it easier for Baltimoreans to get the life-saving drug Naloxone. OSI provided funding to build the portal, where users can watch a brief training video, answer a few questions, and then print out a prescription for the drug, which can be administered to prevent death from opioid overdose.
“Nearly every day in Baltimore, one person dies from drug overdose,” Dr. Wen said at a press conference at Health Department headquarters. “It is our obligation to educate and save lives. By offering this new online training we will be able to put this lifesaving medication in the hands of more Baltimoreans.”
Nolen also spoke at the press conference, which was covered by the Sun and WMAR, among others, noting that in addition to funding the portal, OSI made a grant to train and equip 500 Baltimore Police officers to administer Naloxone and has also partnered with the Health Department and the police department on the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program. In particular, he spoke about how the stigma of addiction has made it difficult for people to seek help, even from those closest to them.
“With the laws that we have that are very punitive to people who use, people are getting pushed not just to the shadow economy, but pushed into the shadows of social life,” he said. “We want to embrace people in the community who are struggling with addiction and bring them out of the shadows.”