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Overdose antidote giveaway coming to Central Point

The nonprofit group Max’s Mission will give away free naloxone, a medication used to reverse opioid overdoses, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Central Point Library, 116 Third St.

The public is invited to drop in at any time during the event. Training on how to respond to an overdose, including administering naloxone in an easy-to-use nasal spray form, takes about 30 minutes.

The antidote can quickly reverse the effects of an overdose from heroin and prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet.

Max’s Mission also will give away test strips to check for fentanyl, an often-deadly drug being added to a variety of illicit drugs, including heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and counterfeit pain pills.

“People who use street drugs should definitely have them,” Max’s Mission co-founder Julia Pinsky said of the fentanyl test strips. “Fentanyl is in everything now.”

Cheap and powerful, some types of fentanyl are used to tranquilize elephants. In powder form, a fentanyl dose fatal to humans is smaller than Abraham Lincoln’s face on a penny, according to medical experts.

Once rarely used, fentanyl became America’s deadliest drug in 2016, when it was linked to 18,335 overdose deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Pinsky said grant funding is allowing Max’s Mission to provide naloxone and overdose training in smaller towns.

“We are very grateful that the Oregon Community Foundation recognized the need,” she said of the grant to improve conditions in rural communities.

Previous give-aways have mainly focused on Medford and Grants Pass.

On May 14, Max’s Mission will hold a giveaway starting at 3:30 p.m. at the Eagle Point Library, 239 W. Main St.

Max’s Mission will have a giveaway in Phoenix in June, with details about the time and location to be announced.

In the first three months of 2019, the nonprofit trained 260 people and distributed 300 free doses of naloxone and 140 fentanyl test strips.

People who can’t attend the training and need a naloxone kit can call 458-225-9760. For more information about Max’s Mission, visit www.maxsmission.org.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.

Julia Pinsky holds NARCAN nasal spray. Mail Tribune file photo