Jim Sánchez/ Conexión San Ángelo

SAN ANGELO– In 2013, Mark Kinzly, and Charles Thibodeaux founded Texas Overdose Naloxone Initiative to get ahead of the curve in what they saw coming down the road--an opiod crisis.

“Charles and I got together with a group of individuals as a result of what we saw coming with the opiod crisis,” said Kinzly. “We knew that eventually Texas would be affected by this so we wanted to get ahead of it.”

The Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council for the Concho Valley, in partnership with the Texas Health & Human Services Commission and the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Symposium, invited Kinzly a streetologist and Thibodeaux, LCDC, to speak at this afternoon’s 2 p.m. Opioid Overdose Prevention Training which was held in the Jack Ray Auditorium of the MHMR Services for the Concho Valley. 

Prior to Kinzly’s presentation, Thibodeaux, TONI’s LCDC, informed the 35 professionals in attendance that the number one cause of unintentional deaths in the United States was due to opiod overdose.  

A “lifesaving” medication called, Naloxone is now legally made available which can reverse opiod overdose, stated Thibodeaux.

Naloxone was made possible because when Senate Bill 1462 was passed in the 2015 Texas Legislative session it allowed for greater access to Naloxone which means that any citizen in the state of Texas can walk into any pharmacy, purchase the medication, administer it and be in possession of the medication.

“The public should be glad that this medication is available as the majority of people who are overdosing are over the age of 30-years-old,” Thibodeaux said.

Conexión asked Kinzly with such an epidemic as this, how much of a difference will Naloxone make?

“Percentage wise we know that there have been around 30,000 rescues in the last seven years in the United States.” 

TONI is dedicated to educating the public about overdose prevention and community support for the state of Texas and making life-saving medication more available to the opioid using population. As a result of these efforts, there have been over 600 overdose reversals since 2013, per TONI’s website http://recoveryatx.org/toni/

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