STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Max's Mission delivers naloxone amid opioid overdose 'Red Alert'

As Jackson County sees a rash of opioid overdoses, several organizations are doing their part to keep people alive.

Posted: Dec 23, 2019 6:05 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — As Jackson County sees a rash of opioid overdoses, several organizations are doing their part to keep people alive. On Monday, Max's Mission was in Medford's Alba Park, handing out the overdose-reversal drug naloxone for free.

“We have given out a lot of doses, an awful lot of doses," said Julia Pinsky, executive director for Max's Mission. "People contact us, we’ve given it out to the homeless, we’ve given it out to some of those businesses who see people who use . . . and we’re just trying to get as much as we can out there.”

Jackson County Public Health issued a "Red Alert" on Saturday after hospitals, law enforcement agencies, and other emergency responders reported seeing more than a dozen potentially fatal overdoses over the past several days. At least one suspected case did result in someone's death, the agency said.

Officials said that the overdoses are likely being caused by a particularly potent supply of heroin, or heroin that has been laced with other opioids.

“Because a dealer brings in a batch that’s too strong basically," Pinsky said. "We don’t know if there is fentanyl in it because it is too soon to test for that. It could be fentanyl laced, but it is very dangerous to use."

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is usually administered as a nasal spray to someone in the throes of an opioid overdose. It can reverse an overdose with near-miraculous efficacy.

Pinsky said that Max's Mission had handed out eight or nine doses of naloxone at Alba Park by Monday afternoon. They were also at the park on Saturday, doing the same.

"We were also giving some out this morning somewhere else, early this morning, so it’s ongoing,” Pinsky said.

For people like Pinsky and organizations like Max's Mission, it's a matter as simple as life or death. Naloxone can mean the difference between a second chance and no chance at all.

“They should have Narcan on hand, because they may not have used opioids before, but you do hear about people dying from just using once," Pinsky said. "And this is the holidays — it’s a tough time of year, people do things they don’t normally do — so it doesn’t do any harm.”

On Sunday the Compassion Highway Project paired its paired its Christmas lunch for the homeless with doses of naloxone, alongside basic clothes, hygiene projects, and gifts for the holiday season.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 42808

Reported Deaths: 664
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9292163
Marion5929108
Washington583877
Umatilla337645
Clackamas317265
Lane241927
Malheur192738
Jackson17076
Deschutes113613
Yamhill100115
Linn81615
Polk65715
Jefferson6059
Morrow5457
Lincoln51713
Union4682
Benton4456
Klamath4173
Douglas3598
Wasco34816
Hood River2771
Columbia2691
Josephine2693
Coos2510
Clatsop2440
Baker1253
Crook1102
Tillamook700
Curry581
Wallowa462
Lake380
Harney340
Sherman190
Gilliam110
Grant110
Wheeler20
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 914888

Reported Deaths: 17460
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3020777027
Riverside669931303
San Bernardino633671073
Orange589801454
San Diego55210877
Kern33928416
Fresno30969439
Sacramento25601491
Santa Clara24425392
Alameda23471462
San Joaquin21729489
Contra Costa18763242
Stanislaus17714398
Tulare17590288
Ventura14330165
Imperial12967336
San Francisco12189140
Monterey1141990
San Mateo11198159
Santa Barbara9827122
Merced9531155
Sonoma9494136
Kings826483
Solano744576
Marin7096129
Madera503774
Placer420757
San Luis Obispo417432
Yolo321959
Butte309552
Santa Cruz280825
Napa196616
Shasta195431
Sutter186512
San Benito144215
El Dorado13514
Yuba132310
Mendocino113621
Tehama8928
Lassen7661
Lake69816
Glenn6713
Nevada6238
Humboldt56810
Colusa5516
Calaveras34218
Amador33116
Tuolumne2754
Inyo23115
Siskiyou2050
Del Norte1801
Mono1802
Mariposa792
Plumas700
Modoc360
Trinity270
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 75°
Brookings
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 66°
Crater Lake
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 67°
Grants Pass
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 68°
Klamath Falls
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 67°
Cold morning, warm afternoon
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events