COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Drug overdoses have become so frequent, that experts are calling it an “epidemic within the pandemic.”
Last year in Franklin County, there was a 45% increase in overdose deaths, compared to the year before.
“I’ve been here for a long time, and you see people OD, a couple times a day,” said Al Edmondson, owner of ‘A Cut Above the Rest Barbershop.’
In his 30 years as a barbershop owner in Bronzeville, Al Edmondson says he’s seen far too many people suffer from drug overdoses.
It’s a crisis that’s become so frequent, he says it’s even happened in the alley behind his shop.
“We’ve had many a time when somebody would come up, and say hey, where’s the Narcan because somebody just passed out down there,” said Edmondson.
It’s why Edmondson and his team of barbers have all gotten Narcan Resource Kits, and he says they’ve each been trained on how to use one, in case an emergency happens.
“We just want to try to make sure that they can live one more day,” said Edmondson.
Across Franklin County, more than 850 people died due to an overdose last year, which is a 45% increase from 2019.
And the coroner’s office says men comprised over 70% of those deaths, with African Americans being one of the groups most affected.
“Our goal is to reach the hard to reach,” said Dana Lavender, program manager for the African American Male Wellness Agency.
It’s why the African American Male Wellness Agency is working to distribute these Narcan Kits to as many places as possible and train the community on how to use them.
“So that’s what we’re here to do, not necessarily just bring awareness, but also lead people to understanding the use of Narcan, why it’s important, and making sure households are trained, all over Franklin County,” said Lavender.
The African American Male Wellness Agency has scheduled their next Narcan training for Tuesday, July 20th, at 6 pm.
The event is free, and you can register by visiting their website at https://itsourproblemtoo.com/