More than 3,000 people rallied, ran and walked in Old New Castle, Delaware last Saturday morning to raise awareness for what organizers say is the public health crisis of this generation. Family members, friends, and people in recovery ran the annual atTAcK Addiction “Erase the Stigma 5K” is an event that attracts people personally affected by addiction.
The annual race was started by parents who lost (or almost lost) their children to opioid overdose. They bonded and created a nonprofit to combat opioid abuse and addiction in Delaware. Their grassroots nonprofit helps to educate people about addiction in the community. They have a special high school just for students in recovery from addiction and they also provide addiction-related services such as support groups.
AtTAcK Addiction provides services directly to people who are looking for safe sober housing. Their 5K has come to serve as a rallying moment for families new to recovery. They also provide comfort for people who have lost loved ones to overdose and want to make sure they didn’t die in vain.
At the 5K race, the state of Delaware also unveiled its first Point of Distribution for naloxone, the overdose-reversing medication used to save hundreds of lives each year. People with loved ones in recovery, drug users, and people who work in public spaces often find it cost-prohibitive to purchase the drug on their own.
The Naloxone distribution also hosted a pop-up training event led by first responders. The training took about five minutes. At the end of the training, receive an opioid rescue kit. The kit includes “two doses of naloxone, a nasal atomizer or cartridge used to spray the medication up someone’s nose, information on how to give CPR and use the medication, as well as addiction resources,” according to Delaware Online. There are two more pop-up events planned at the Delaware Technical Community College and Delaware Technical Community College in March.
Delaware is one of our smallest states. Their population doesn’t total a million people. Yet they lost more than 400 lives in Delaware alone last year.
“Every day in Delaware, we are losing someone to overdose,” said Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long told the audience at the event.