Collaborative also hosts ‘Time out Tuesdays ’ fourth annual Speedbump Fest
— If you had the chance to save someone’s life and give them an opportunity to turn their life around, would you?
With nearly 1,000 overdoses in Summit County recorded by the county health department so far this year, you may be in that situation. But you can help reverse an overdose with one powerful tool: a Naloxone kit.
Free Naloxone kits
The nasal spray is a potent weapon against the opioid crisis, and you can get one free on Tuesday, Sept. 17 through a partnership between Last Letter Project (LLP) and Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone). At the free “Help Fight the Opioid Crisis” event attendees will learn how to:
- Recognize signs and symptoms of an overdose
- Distinguish between different types of overdose
- Perform rescue breathing; and
- Administer Naloxone nasal spray
Fentanyl test strips will also be available. The strips identify if a drug has fentanyl, which is the cause of most overdoses, according to Jaclyn Wright, one of LLP’s founders.
Some people think the kits enable addicts, but Wright said, “We don’t judge people,” adding, “We want them to stay alive and make better decisions. We don’t condemn them for one life decision gone wrong, because that’s all it takes.”
You never know where or when you might encounter an overdose.
“The other night a friend dealt with an overdose in the drive-thru at Taco Bell,” Wright said. Naloxone saved the person who overdosed.
The event’s programs will run every half hour from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hive Mind, 375 W. Exchange St., in Akron.
Initiative grew from tragedy
LLP was formed in 2015 by three friends – Wright and Jon and Michelle Zeit – after the death of their close friend Garrett Janos. The name – Last Letter Project – comes from the last letters Janos wrote to his friends – his suicide letters.
“His death came out of nowhere,” Wright said. “It hit all of us really hard. We wanted to look at why this happened and we wanted to start talking about it.”
Punk and metal concert/fundraiser
To honor Janos’ memory and to get people talking about mental illness and addiction, LLP will host its fourth Speedbump Fest on Saturday, Oct. 5, at Musica, 51 E. Market St., Akron.
“It’s a good time for a good cause,” Wright says. Explaining the history of the name “Speedbump Fest,” she said, “Garrett used to write ‘speedbump’ on his hat. When we were naming the fest we kind of thought about it as everyone hits a speedbump in life whether it be loss, mental health, addiction, etc. but you keep going.”
The concert also promotes punk and metal music. This year’s performers include: Autarch, S.N.A.F.U., Killer of Sheep, Trash Cat, Pissmongrel, Hiraeth and Forced Happiness. The bands come from as far away as North Carolina to as close as Akron.
“Garrett was very involved in the punk and metal scene and we want to keep that going,” Wright said, adding, “Music was one of the outlets he had for mental health.”
Doors for the show open at 7. Tickets are $10 in advance, and $12 during the day of the show. Raffle tickets will be sold to raise money for Project DAWN and Portage Path Behavioral Center. Arkham Tattoo and Square Records are sponsors, and area businesses are donating prizes.
Time Out Tuesdays
One more initiative of LLP is “Time Out Tuesdays”, a quarterly program that includes discussions, educational speakers, and interactive activities. Topics have included hiking and mental health, meditation/yoga, dogs and mental health, holiday stress, and art and mental health. The next Time Out Tuesday, open to all ages, will be in December.