Author: Justin Mckibben
Naloxone expansion is something we consistently see as a topic of discussion. Naloxone, or the name-brand Narcan, is an opioid overdose antidote that is in high demand as one of the primary tools in the fight against the ongoing overdose outbreak. Law makers and law enforcement agencies have joined with community organizations and pharmacy companies in trying to provide this medication to more and more people.
New legislation across the U.S. has made access to Naloxone more common than ever. Now, the drive for Naloxone expansion is leading us to another avenue. This is beyond supplying the families of addicts, the addicts themselves and first responders.
Some may remember, back in September, the Food and Drug Administration launched a competition to app developers in the name of improving resources for naloxone expansion. The contest was seeking a mobile app for connecting people experiencing a drug overdose with someone nearby who can administer naloxone. With technology being used to expedite just about everything in our world, it only made sense to use it to help save lives if possible.
The winner of the Naloxone App Competition has been announced this month, and the $40,000 cash prize has been claimed. Their mission: to make it possible for more people to be first responders for opiate overdoses.
The OD Help App
The winning app is the OD Help App, creared by Team PwrdBy, a small start-up in Venice, California. The start-up’s CEO Jared Sheehan says this innovation stems from the idea of making naloxone assistance as available as ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. With Uber and Lyft drivers being so spread out, the idea is the app could cover a lot more ground and reach more people in the event of opioid overdose.
Sheehan says there’s still a lot of work to be done before the app is made available to the public. To implement this kind of program with Uber or Lyft, it would require reaching out and coordinating with ride-sharing companies. Sheehan stated:
“Is there a way if every Uber driver had a naloxone kit in the back of their car, that you could call someone and they’d be able to come over and administer naloxone?”
So in essence, the idea of the OD Help app would be to be able to alert naloxone carriers of an overdose (OD) and give them the option of being dispatched to help revive someone experiencing the overdose.
Expanding Team PwrdBy Naloxone Plan
According to Sheehan, ride-sharing apps are just one avenue that Team PwrdBy is setting its sights on. The company is also exploring more traditional distribution systems.
One such method Team PwrdBy wants to look to for inspiration for the OD Help app is the AED network, the automated external defibrillators network across schools. The goal is to better comprehend how these programs are funded and distributed. Modeling after an already successful style of expanded access for other emergency medical supplies may be vital to changing the way we expand naloxone access.
All of this is to save as many lives as possible.
How OD Help Works
The OD Help app connects opioid users with a crowd-sourced network of naloxone carriers. Using GPS, it specifically connects someone who may experience an overdose with someone nearby who has access to naloxone. The app is also able to be personalize to the user’s specifications. One feature lets you set it up so in the event of an overdose the app would only alert people in your selected support network. And naloxone carriers can disable alerts if they are not able to respond.
Another feature available with the OD Help app is a breathing monitor. This can be helpful for people who use opioids alone. It gives the app a way to communicate with others when the user can’t. The wearable monitor is able to detect if the individual’s breathing rate is dangerously low, a sign of overdose. In this case the OD Help app automatically alerts a naloxone carrier nearby.
The app also features information on:
- How to correctly identify an overdose
- How to administer naloxone
Another hope is that the app will also inform younger generations about the dangers of opioid abuse, and about overdose prevention. The hope is the app could reach a younger population and make them aware of how to get access to naloxone and how to administer it. Many young people don’t think of pharmacies as a place to get the drug that could save their lives.
Put to Good Use
The truth is, not all people will be able to have access to a consistent supply of naloxone. The drug also doesn’t last forever. For those who would need to have an overdose antidote resource, the OD Help app could be a safe-guard against being completely unprepared for an overdose.
Some people may be embarrassed or have some reservations about personally obtaining naloxone. With the OD Help app they could reach out to someone if they truly needed the help.
If you or someone you loved were overdosing, would it be useful to be able to look on an app and find someone close by with the tools to help? Some people would say you should just call an ambulance, but what if it could get there sooner? Or what if someone is afraid of reporting it? Too many people die for these very reasons, but they shouldn’t have to. Sure, some people may ask if they would let a random citizen administering the antidote. However, some might say any help is worth having.
Then on the other side, would people be willing to come to the rescue if they had the resources? If your phone rang and the OD Help app said someone needed help around the corner, would you? Would you be happy you could?
Something tells me plenty of people would be willing to put this tool to good use.
This writer has said this before; the preservation of all lives should be a responsibility of all who have the ability to help; not just for public health officials, but everyone. As part of that, Palm Partners is dedicated to contributing to the rehabilitation and revolutionary growth possible with holistic treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. If you or anyone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call now.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Uber has officially altered the way we look at transportation. Now, instead of the traditionally expensive taxi cabs, millions are opting to Uber instead. The app is estimated to be worth anywhere from 60 to 70 billion dollars.
Enter in Austin Geidt who climbed the ranks at the Uber Company. She rose from marketing intern to one of the company’s top executives. However, despite her professional achievement, Geidt believes she only has one accomplishment to be the most proud of: getting sober.
The 30-year-old spoke for the first time during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen Summit in San Francisco about how she spent the first half of her 20s fighting to overcome her addiction and regain control of her life. Although she did not go into detail about the specifics of her addiction, Geidt went on to say she sought help at age 19 and got sober the following year.
Geidt graduated from UC Berkeley at the age of 25 and then joined the Uber team right after. Upon starting her position, she admitted feeling out of place working with people who were years younger than her.
“It was so important to get that part of my life right so I could get the rest of my life right,” she said. “[But] I felt behind as a 25-year-old intern.”
Despite her qualms, Geidt utilized the tools she learned in recovery to her advantage. She thrived in her position at Uber. She attributes her years in recovery to helping her learn how to take small steps to tackle big problems. Recovery taught her how to be direct with herself and others as well as gain insight into what’s most important.
“I immersed myself at Uber,” she said. “But I am also able to step back considerably. I love what we do, but I also have perspective on what’s really important to me.”
Geidt says she hopes to continue sharing her story because she believes it can be a sign of hope for other young people struggling with addiction.
Overcoming Addiction Young
Geidt’s story is an example of how beneficial it is to overcome your addiction as early as possible. Although recovery should be sought after at any age, the earlier you overcome your addiction, the better. Early recovery allows you to have the rest of your life to achieve your goals with the right recovery mentality.
In addition, when we are older, drugs affect our bodies differently. With age, our bodies undergo several chemical and physical changes that alter the way we react to the world. When it comes to drug and alcohol, certain behavioral changes occur and there are correlations between substance abuse and the age of the addict.
When it comes to alcohol dependence, age is a major factor. Research reveals that when a person is over the age of 65, they have an increased risk for a myriad of symptoms due to alcohol abuse. For example, physical symptoms can occur and there is a higher risk or injury, even death.
It is also likely that the older you are, the more medication you may be taking that could be negatively affected by alcohol. Mixing alcohol with drugs like aspirin or antihistamines heighten the effect and the results can be deadly.
Furthermore, Geidt was able to address her illness at an early age and had the rest of her life to become successful and start over. She was able to finish college and eventually become the executive of a thriving company. Seeking recovery is crucial at any age, but putting it off could be costing yourself years of time to finally seek success in your own life.
The earlier you overcome your addiction, the better. Seek treatment today. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Shernide Delva
Author: Justin Mckibben
We can’t seem to hear enough now-a-days about how the digital world and the expansion of our mobile technology are altering the way drug use and drug policy is being handled. This coupled with the growing call for drug policy reform, and the fact the marijuana is becoming legal for medical use in some states, especially after the midterms, means that there was sure to be some people ready to step up and offer a new mobile service for the consumer.
While this may not be the same as the Dark Web and their black-market style trafficking, or the digital dealers tagging their products on Instagram, will apps designed for delivering medicinal marijuana present a more serious problem, or can they be properly regulated?
Putting a Stop to Nestdrop
Enter Nestdrop, a Los Angeles-based smartphone application that recently pursued the goal of becoming the first mobile medical marijuana logistics service in Los Angeles, to provide deliver services for those who are now permitted to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Nestdrop was actually launched this summer, and the company claims that using their business model they are not violating any laws, because they don’t handle the marijuana themselves. The Nestdrop services claim to simply connect distributors with patients.
Unfortunately for the new digital drug traffickers Judge Robert O’Brien disagreed, and on December 23rd the judge ordered that the Nestdrop Company shut down this business. Judge O’Brien explained that his decision was based off voter-approved law called Proposition D which bans any form of medical marijuana delivery. Michael Pycher is the Co-founder of the controversial Nestdrop app, and Pycher has stated that for the time being the app will continue to provide its alcohol logistics service and drop its medical marijuana delivery option, but in the future Pycher plans to resume that branch of the business.
Uber App Ready to Assist Consumers
Where Nestdrop has been put on pause, the already well know Uber app typically used for ride-sharing may be next in line to capitalize on this evolution of enterprise through a trial the company actually just launched this past August of a program known as the “Uber Corner Store.”
The “Uber Corner Store” feature lets users purchase drug store medicines and other various over-the-counter products. The program was originally only offered in specific neighborhoods throughout Washington, D.C. so not all Uber users would have been able to testify to this delivery experience. However the plan is to expand the “Uber Corner Sotre” option by next year.
“Uber Corner Store”
How does the “Corner Store” option work, and why is it any different? Someone using Uber can click on this feature through the app and request a driver. After selecting this option the user will receive a text message with a list of available items for purchase from the “Uber Corner Store”.
The regular Uber users account is billed once the driver confirms the details of the delivery, and they’re off to the races. Uber has already experimented with delivery options. They also began a courier service out of Manhattan, but the app has never dealt in anything nearly as controlled or controversial as medical marijuana.
The truth is, of course a business would consider that in an area allowing the production, sale, and consumption of marijuana its advantageous to find a way to get their foot in the door, and a delivery service has all the potential in the world. Travis Kalanick, founder of Uber made a statement last December saying,
“We’re in the business of delivering cars in five minutes. And once you can deliver cars in five minutes, there’s a lot of things you can deliver in five minutes.”
That being said, Uber is also known to promote safety and not irresponsible and reckless behavior, they actually partnered with another app called Breeze which is designed to curb drunk driving with a portable breathalyzer which operates via Bluetooth. Once the Breeze app determines that the user is too drunk to drive, it can contact Uber to request a ride home. So while Uber does aim to provide a service for medical marijuana that may come with some legitimate concerns, it does so with a history of doing things with the intentions to provide safe alternatives to risky behaviors.
So one might wonder will the Uber app be able to get by with the way they handle their delivery services. Will the Nestdrop app continue to be barred from carrying out the task of driving medical drugs from door to door? What other options may become available in the future for people to slip under the radar with drug trafficking?
The drug trade may be changing, and the world may even be changing the policies surrounding drug use, but for addicts change comes from learning how to live again. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Drunk driving is just the worst. Seriously, the impact that drunk drivers have on those they endanger and harm by getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and subsequently causing accidents is so severe, and can quite often be avoided.
Anyone who has been arrested a few times or knows someone who has is familiar with breathalyzers. There is even one installed in vehicles of chronically reckless people who have one too many DUI’s that tests them for being drunk before they can even start their engines.
With all these concepts in mind, it is no wonder how even more innovations have started to pop up that are actually more geared toward prevention rather than punishment. Breeze is a new breathalyzer app designed for keeping drunk drivers off the street, and will hopefully make a bigger difference in this digital age.
Breeze Checks BAC
The new Breeze app is actually Bluetooth compatible, and when using the individual would blow into a portable breathalyzer which pairs to a smartphone. If Breeze measures the user as over the legal limit and determines it’s not safe to get behind the wheel, the app places a call to a public transportation service.
Brian Sturdivant is the vice president of marketing, and in a recent interview he stated that the Breeze device will help drinkers make the right decision, and even assist them in getting connected to the safer alternative. Sturdivant said,
“This is really about consumer awareness and being able to make the right decision and learn more about yourself.”
This amazing and possibly life-saving app will be available as of the 1st of November at Best Buy for just $100. Breeze works by measuring blood alcohol content (BAC) with an electrochemical fuel cell sensor. Results from this BAC test are transmitted to the app via the breathalyzer. The program even calculates and transmits an estimate of how much time it will take the individuals body to metabolize the alcohol in their system.
Taking the risk prevention tactic even a step further, Breeze also syncs with Apple’s HealthKit platform and uses this to keep tracks of the user’s BAC as well as other vital signs.
Calling For Back Up
While similar products are currently on the market, Breeze stands apart by its ability to get the user home safely. The higher BAC reading triggers a “get home safe” screen with a button that launches the smartphone ride service’s app. Uber is the transportation company that allows customers to request a ride right from their phones, and with the help of Breeze they are sure to be bringing in a lot more business.
But the app is not limited to the Uber service however. While Breeze can be programmed to automatically contact Uber, it can also be set to use the review site Yelp to find local cab companies to hail a ride. Or even to access a user’s phone contact list so they can call a friend for a ride. Once more, if the individual doesn’t want to go home straight home, then Breeze has the ability to locate a hotel.
Brian Sturdivant also spoke very adamantly about how Breeze will let users know exactly where they stand and whether or not they should drive, acknowledging the common issue that people will forget how much they have had to drink, or insist that they should be fine to drive.
“It’s 10:30, do you really know how many glasses of wine you’ve had or where you are? This allows you and others to quickly check and [decide] should I Uber home, should I take a cab or am I good to go?”
Hopefully this new app will actually avert alcohol related accidents and other serious injury, death and DUI’s by letting the average individual make an attempt to monitor their drinking, and going the extra mile beyond what other similar functions do by calling for help wherever you are. Although if you need an app like this enough that you are paying $100 for it, maybe you are too intoxicated too often, and you should consider a more serious problem.
Drinking and driving is by far one of the most dangerous and careless things people can do to endanger not only themselves, but the lives of others. And sometimes if you find yourself facing the repercussions of drunk driving, it means there is a much more serious issue at the root of the problem. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135