MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH) — Two EMTs started a nonprofit aimed at reducing overdoses during the opioid crisis.
It is called the Middletown Harm Reduction Initiative. Wesleyan University senior Livia Cox and Nick Wells, a Wesleyan student at the time, started the nonprofit.
You might see Cox rolling a plastic trunk down Main Street in Middletown a few times a week.
“In the upper half of our rover, we have Narcan, Naloxone supplies. We give out overdose kits,” Cox said. “We would consistently see overdoses and became increasingly aware that we weren’t meaningfully or adequately addressing the epidemic of overdoses and drug use as EMTs on the ambulances. We were addressing it after the fact.”
They also give out fentanyl test strips, which can detect fentanyl in a drug before it is used.
“The hope that if it does, people won’t use it,” Cox said.
They also provide clean syringes through a needle exchange program.
“This is an effort to reduce the harms associated with intravenous drug use and promote the use of people not sharing needles,” Cox said.
While News 8 spoke to Cox, a few of her 170 plus clients came up to her. Most did not want to be on TV but one man getting a Narcan kit did speak about her efforts.
“What you’re doing for the community, you’re helping out a lot of people,” he said.
MHRI has taken its inspiration and guidance from the Connecticut Harm Reduction Alliance based in Hartford.
“Probably the best feeling is when clients will let us know that they successfully used Naloxone, Narcan and were able to save the life of a loved one or even somebody that they didn’t know,” Cox said.
A lot of the items Cox is able to give out are donated to her group. Since it is a nonprofit, they are able to write grants to get additional support.
If you would like to donate, click here.