Former drug addict hopes to save lives

A follow up to a story we told you about Monday night at 11.

A Rogue Valley mom lost her son to a heroin overdose.

Now she’s hoping her words and actions will save others from what killed her son.

According to a study at the outreach event, 130 people die of opioid overdose each day.

One Medford resident who used to suffer from drug addiction says he’s relieved that word is getting out in the Rogue Valley about opioid use.

“Better than throwing your friends in the alley or something and running away because they’re afraid of getting arrested,” Medford resident Adam Gandy said.

Gandy says he and his wife were drug addicts when they were kids.

Now they’ve been clean for nearly 30 years, but they want to help others.

“We just wanted to learn how to administer this drug because it has saved lives in the past,” Gandy said.

That drug is Naloxone which reverses an opioid overdose.

Julia Pinsky – who lost her son to a heroin overdose – provided life-saving information to people like Adam, who can pass that knowledge to others.

“It’s real easy to use. Just like a one squirt nasal inhaler,” Gandy said.

According to the Medford Police Department, there have been 17 deployments of the medication since 2015, and all have been successful.

“I’ve had to breathe for my friends for hours before just because they wouldn’t wake up,” Gandy said.

When someone is having an opioid overdose, they often stop breathing and could die.

That’s one fact that was taught at the Max’s Mission outreach meeting Tuesday night.

“And we were curious about the Good Samaritan Law,” Gandy said.

As of January this year, neither the person overdosing or the person calling police can be criminally charged for anything related to drugs.

“I just hope the word gets out and more people about it and can learn how to get it. That way everyone will have it. You could help somebody and save their life someday,” Gandy said.

Max’s Mission also hopes to do community outreach in Ashland, Grants Pass, Cave Junction, and with the homeless community.

If you’d like to donate toward the cause, you can visit https://www.maxsmission.org/

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