ST. LOUIS, MO – St. Louis City has more deaths due to opioid overdose than any other county in Missouri. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, out of every 100,000 residents, 109 Black men die from opioid overdose, the highest rate in the state. White males die at a rate of 41.45 for every 100,000 residents.
The City of St. Louis Department of Health recently awarded Affinia Healthcare a $122,500 grant to help increase awareness of ways to prevent and treat opioid misuse. The grant also provides funding to purchase Narcan, a medication used for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose. Narcan is available to the public through Affinia Healthcare pharmacies and outreach initiatives.
The grant is a sub-award from the City Department of Health by way of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Depart of Health and Human Services through a cooperative agreement for emergency response issued to the state of Missouri.
“The opioid crisis is having a significant impact on underserved populations – especially African American men,” said Dr. Kendra Holmes, Affinia Healthcare President & CEO. “The overdoses directly affect younger, minority populations, the future of our communities. The numbers are staggering. We want to make sure our communities are aware of how to avoid falling into this trap of addiction, and if they need help, Affinia Healthcare has evidence-based treatment programs to help them battle the condition.”
Beginning in July, Affinia Healthcare will launch a comprehensive awareness campaign targeting youth and residents of St. Louis City. The campaign will include radio advertising, print and bus media, and social media promotion. Narcan will also be promoted through this campaign to increase the availability in the general population.
“Part of the campaign will use videos and other tools to show how easy it is to use Narcan and let the public know they can get the medication at any of our locations, free of charge,” Dr. Holmes continued.
Affinia Healthcare provides substance misuse treatment through its Medication Assisted Treatment program. As part of a comprehensive care program, patients work with medical and behavioral health professionals to treat the addiction. To contact a member of the Affinia Healthcare MAT team, please call 314-658-4860.