Springfield-Greene County Health Department launches overdose death prevention app

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 1:46 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2023 at 4:25 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Edited News Release/KY3) - In response to the growing epidemic of drug overdose deaths impacting our community, Springfield-Greene County Health Department launched the new mobile- and web-based app Revive.

This app will provide resources and lifesaving guidance to people in both English and Spanish who use illicit substances, their loved ones, service providers, and others in the community who might encounter someone experiencing an overdose.

The goal of Revive is to prevent a drug overdose from becoming an overdose death. The 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment showed that drug use and the rate of overdose deaths in our community are significant. The drug overdose mortality rate is more than 25% higher in Greene, Christian, and Webster counties than in the rest of the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids were involved in nearly 75% of drug overdose deaths in 2020, and most involved synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than drugs like morphine. It is highly addictive, and a small amount can cause overdose and death.

Overdoses from opioids, including fentanyl, can be reversed using the lifesaving medication naloxone. Revive allows people to find naloxone to carry with them and guides them through its proper use if needed. The app will provide written, verbal, and visual step-by-step guidance to those responding to a drug overdose. It asks a few questions to provide the best information, then walks the user through how to administer naloxone, conduct CPR and position the person so they can remain safe until emergency services arrive. Revive also reassures the person responding that, under Missouri’s Good Samaritan Law, they will not be arrested for minor offenses, including drug possession, if they call 911 to help someone experiencing a medical emergency.

In addition to rescue guidance, Revive provides information on recognizing the signs of an overdose, maps of community resources like drug disposal sites and treatment services, and information for those who have experienced a drug overdose. The Health Department plans to add additional features in the coming months.

The content for Revive was developed with input from several community partners, including the Southwest Missouri Drug Poisoning Coalition and Community Partnership of the Ozarks. CPO has also provided additional funding to help reach at-risk communities with the Revive app.

The Health Department encourages everyone to download Revive and familiarize themselves with its features to help us save lives, connect people with the resources they need to recover from addiction, and lead longer, healthier and happier lives. Revive can be accessed and downloaded for free by going to Revive417.com or through the Apple and Google Play stores on your mobile device.

Aaron Schekorra of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department said this app could save lives.

“Keep that person alive while you await that emergency medical assistance,” said Schekorra.

Schekorra said the app guides you if you have Narcan or not.

Jess Pratt with the National Alliance on Mental Illness said this is necessary.

“Sometimes someone just needs that, that one little chance, and it could get them the help that they need,” said Pratt

Health department staff developed the app themselves. Schekorra said it comes out of the budget.

“Normalize that response because, unfortunately, overdose is a situation that is becoming increasingly common in the US,” said Schekorra.

Schekorra said the Good Samaritan Law protects people in most events if they are also on drugs.

“To save a life, you’re not supposed to get arrested. You’re not going to be charged with a crime,” said Schekorra.

Pratt and Schekorra said this gives you easy steps to help someone potentially.

“Never know if you would stumble into a situation, not know what to do, and this breaks it down,” said Pratt. Very, very simple.”

“We need to keep those folks alive until they’re ready to take that step,” said Schekorra.

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