Billboards raise awareness, promote education about opioid crisis

Published: Aug. 21, 2018 at 6:29 PM EDT
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(8/21/2018) - The billboard is located just before the I-475 exit along I-75 South in Genesee County. As part of the campaign, you'll also see one of these billboards in Lapeer, Sanilac and St. Clair Counties.

It reads "YOU CAN!" The Region 10 Pre-paid Inpatient Health Plan is encouraging the community to learn how to save someone from an opioid overdose.

"It's going to take a little bit of everybody coming together and chipping in to make the whole thing work," said Aaron Rubio with the Genesee County chapter of Families Against Narcotics.

As the opioid crisis becomes more and more deadly, he explained education is key to help ending it.

"You can make a difference. You don't have to be in the world of addiction yourself or have a loved one, anybody can help save a life by being naloxone or narcan trained," he added.

Which Rubio said, is critical as overdoses occur more and more in public places.

"Bus station, grocery store, gas station, wherever you may be, you may start to run across some folks that are already starting to, that are in an OD state," Rubio said.

To carry the life-saving Naloxone, you have to be taught how to use it.

Region 10 PIHP said call the number on the billboard, (888-225-4447). It'll direct you to the closest training. Rubio's FAN chapter offers the 1-hour class every final Thursday of the month in Flint.

"You kind of learn how to identify the patient, identify that they are in opiate overdose or have some of the symptoms to be, with a few tests that you can do," he explained. "And then, begin to insert nalaxone. We have both the syringe, the nasal, and also the injection."

Rubio said as the community comes together to make a difference, he's hopeful it'll set off a movement.

"A full movement on how the treatment of addiction works for the addict, how the insurance works, how it's added. All of that is molding and shaping to better deal with the epidemic, which is good, because it's been a long time coming."

FAN Genesee County Chapter's Monthly Meeting:

4th Thursday of every month at 7pm

East Flint Church of the Nazarene
3515 North Belsay Rd. , Flint, MI 48506