Davenport organization reverses 123 overdoses in Iowa and Illinois

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) -- In just the past two months, 123 lives have been saved in Iowa and Illinois by the overdose rescue drug Naloxone. The whole Narcan-Naloxone effort is the mission of a Davenport group of volunteers committed to saving lives.

The Mississippi River divides Iowa and Illinois, but both states have a growing problem.

“So far this year since January first of 2019, we've had 123 overdose reversals,” said Kim Brown, Quad Cities Harm Reduction Founder.

It's all thanks to this medicine called Naloxone or otherwise known as Narcan.

“Narcan is gold, its life,” said Brown.

Kim Brown is the founder of Quad Cities Harm Reduction. Since 2015, she and her volunteers have hit the streets training people how to use the treatment and they are now seeing the results pay off.

“So I find it incredible that we are able to be out there doing the work now,” said Brown.

They do more than just teaching others, they too are saving lives.

“I watched everybody run out the room and leave him lying there,” said Lindsey Brix, Quad Cities Harm Reduction Volunteer.

Lindsey Brix has been a volunteer for two years and not too long ago she was there when someone needed help.

“I grabbed my Narcan kit and I told everybody just stay calm, it's okay,” said Brix.

She remembered the training instructions she got and went to work.

“I gave him a sternal rub really hard in the chest to see if he would respond and he didn’t,” said Brix.

After giving a premeasured injection of Narcan things started to turn around.

“He made it, the ambulance came and got him. That’s all it took, was one vial to save somebody's life,” said Brix.

It wasn't an easy experience.

“It is a scary thing seeing someone overdose. It’s very scary, I’m glad that I chose to carry Narcan. I keep it in my car, I keep it in my purse, I keep it in my book bag,” said Brix.

Brix says she's just glad she was there at the right time.

“Felt like it was a blessing, I felt maybe God put me there for a reason,” said Brix.

The group also hopes people stay open-minded. Despite, the latest release from the Iowa Department of Public Health stating opioid deaths are down in Iowa.

“I just want people to be cautious with the good news and not stop carrying Naloxone. Not to think that people are not dying because they are,” said Brown.

“Although they can't be there for every situation. They say they know if everybody carries Narcan lives can be saved.

“Instead of having the crappy feeling of wow, I just watched somebody die and you got the kit then, you could have saved them,” said Brown.

The group has also learned that every street drug is laced with highly potent fentanyl. They also provide test strips for that. If you would like to learn more or become a volunteer. Visit the group’s QC Harm Reduction Facebook or visit the Center located on Brady Street.