As a class, we have now each received our official pitches. I’m working on a story about naloxone, or NARCAN. More specifically, I will be covering this topic in two parts: how the people of Philadelphia are taking this epidemic into their owns hands and carrying naloxone with them wherever they go incase they encounter an overdose, and the city’s initiative to help make naloxone easier for people to get and their urging of people to carry it with them in general.
I’ve spoken with a Temple professor about why he carries naloxone with him, as well as Judi Moore, the head librarian at McPherson Square Library in Kensington. She carries naloxone and so do most of the other librarians there. She has also put me in contact with other librarians in the city that carry it as well. I’m currently looking for more people that carry it on them wherever they go. My story is going to be extremely visual, so I have photos of both people I have talked to so far and their naloxone, as well as the bathroom attendant at McPherson.
As for the city’s initiative, the mayor has put together a task force called the Mayor’s Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic in Philadelphia, which has held community forums around the city as a way of crowd sourcing and showing the people of Philadelphia what they’re working on. The task force covers a variety of topics pertaining to the city’s opioid epidemic, but the one I’m particularly interested in is their efforts to get people to carry naloxone. Advertisements urging people to carry naloxone have been posted in subway stops and the city is even holding public naloxone training for citizens. I’m in the process of getting in contact with the co-chairs of the task force, Dr. Arthur C. Evans and Dr. Thomas Farley, to be able to talk to them more about it. I’ve also reached out to Ruth Stoolman at Independence Blue Cross so she can explain how their new policy on getting naloxone works.