Yesterday’s trip was my first time in Kensington, first time visiting a center that deals with these issues and the first time learning about the opioid epidemic. I was nervous about going, and at some points, I felt a little uncomfortable and out of place, but it was the kind of disorienting feeling that I actively pursue because it helps me to grow as a student and as a person. I’m glad I got the chance to go to Kensington, meet Elvis, learn about opioid use disorders, and see what barriers people are facing so that I could rid myself of preconceived notions about that area and the people who live there. It was an eye-opening experience, and I was impressed by how knowledgeable, experienced and brave Elvis was. I still feel like I want to do more research and know more about Prevention Point and other places like it.
At one point I was CPR certified, but my certification expired. I may look into taking another class to better prepare myself for the possibility of using Narcan and rescue breaths to revive someone. The idea still scares me a lot, but I feel much better about it now that I understand what it is, how it works and how to handle the situation. The thing that shocked me the most was the Air Bridge Puerto Rico to U.S issue, and how people leave their homes in the hope of finding treatment, but they end up just as stuck as they were, but now with no option of going home. I’d want to understand that better and see if more could be done to help them. Yesterday hurt my heart a lot, but I’m thankful I got to experience it so that I can use the resources I am lucky enough to have to make more people aware of facts v. fiction, and hopefully make real differences.