Santa Fe Community Services (SFCS)
To combat the high rates of opioid deaths in New Mexico, CHRISTUS Fund awarded a grant to Santa Fe Community Services (SFCS). This grant allowed the organization to increase the number of citizens trained to use Narcan, a medicine used by clinicians and first responders to reverse an opioid overdose. Since the start of the grant funding in January 2018, over 60 lives have been saved through the use of this overdose-reversing medicine!
Led by the Executive Director, Nancy McDonald, she was able to secure free dosages of Narcan from the New Mexico Dept of Health and the Santa Fe Prevention Alliance. With support from CHRISTUS Fund, the organization hired a part-time clinician that assists with the recruiting and training of caregivers on the use of Narcan. One hour 'hands-on' training sessions show people how to distribute and use Narcan if someone is experiencing an opioid overdose. McDonald along with the SFCS team, conduct the Narcan training throughout Santa Fe as well as sites in the rural areas of Madrid, Cerrillos and Pecos. They also accommodate those that need training and Narcan delivered to their homes.
New Mexico is the first state to require police officers carry Narcan. SFCS reports that they have provided training and supplies of Narcan to Madrid firefighters and staff of the New Mexico Municipal Court.
McDonald has had to use Narcan on clients at the Interfaith Community Shelter, explaining that "I was surprised at how quickly a person who is blue and barely breathing can come back in 2 minutes after administering Narcan..." McDonald continues, "Many thanks to CHRISTUS Fund in helping to fund our huge endeavor of training as many people [to use Narcan] that we can. Our goal is to train everyone so there will be fewer deaths from overdose."