LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (January 4, 2023) – Opioid use and overdoses continued to rise through 2022, but a new program in Pulaski County is taking aim at the problem. The Wolfe Street Foundation has received over $14,000 through the Naloxone Community Hero Project of the Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership (ARORP), and starting this month, the Wolfe Street Foundation will begin training people to recognize the signs of overdose and use naloxone nasal spray to save lives.
Executive director Justin Buck says the program is about more than just overdose.
“We’ve been helping people survive and recover from alcohol and other substance use disorders for over 40 years,” Buck said. “And the continued growth of fentanyl poisonings and opioid overdoses across the country are driving us to do even more in the community.”
Thanks to the collaboration of Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde, North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick, and Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr., the Wolfe Street Foundation will receive a credit from the established Arkansas Naloxone Bank to obtain naloxone for its dissemination to families and community members in Pulaski County.
“Supporting this initiative was an easy decision,” said Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde. “We want to do everything we can to curb the abuse of opioids in Arkansas, and the Wolfe Street Foundation’s participation in this project is imperative to fighting opioid addiction in our state.”
ARORP, an initiative of the Arkansas Municipal League and the Association of Arkansas Counties, represents an unprecedented, united front between the representatives of local government to abate the loss of life caused by the opioid epidemic in Arkansas communities. ARORP oversees the strategic disbursement of opioid settlement dollars at the city and county levels and works to reduce overdose deaths through prevention, treatment, enforcement, and recovery.
“This partnership represents wrongs made right, a significant step to abate the loss families and individuals have experienced due to opioid misuse and addiction. Every dollar received by Arkansas cities and counties will be dedicated to targeted, evidence-based solutions on a local level,” Partnership Director Kirk Lane said in a press conference held last November.
Training opportunities will be held throughout central Arkansas beginning in late January free of charge to community members. But the support doesn’t stop there.
“Through our peer support programs, family support meetings, and regular mutual aid group meetings, we’re committed to supporting people and families suffering from opioid and other substance use
disorders for the long haul,” said Buck. The Wolfe Street Foundation was recognized in 2022 as the state’s best Recovery Community Organization. Buck says that’s because of their commitment to partnerships and their mantra – “We Recover Together”.
For more information on naloxone overdose reversal training, visit www.wolfestreet.org or call (501) 372-5662.