(WJBK) - Burgers, booze and now Narcan.
More bars and after hours’ joints are carrying the drug that temporarily counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose, all thanks to Scott Boyink.
"It's as much for me about readiness as it is fighting addiction," Boyink said.
He launched his campaign to put Narcan in bars about a month ago. He raised about $600 to buy a few of the pricey kits, which can cost about $150 each. He also attended training seminars to acquire more of the lifesaving drug for free. So far he's placed 19 kits in 18 bars throughout metro Detroit. The Painted Lady in Hamtramck is one of them.
"A bar down the street had a false alarm. They needed it, they ran right in here and said 'Andrea we need the Narcan,'" said Andrea Bonaventura. "I threw it to them across the bar, they grabbed it and ran out."
According to the State Health Department, more than 2,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2016 thanks in part to the rise of synthetic drugs.
"There's a problem with people putting drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil and other drugs that do appear in the bar scene," said Scott Boyink. "So it's not a question of whether people use heroin in venues, it is a question of where else is fentanyl and carfentanil showing up. If the right batch goes around, we could start losing a lot of people. We need people to be ready."
There's been a spike in organ donations stemming from the increase of overdose deaths.
"From 2007 to 2017 last year we've seen a 15.9 percent increase in donations," said Ramonia Chapman, Gift of Life Michigan. "We're never celebrating young people dying from drug overdoses, but, unfortunately when those things do occur, we still have an opportunity to provide hope and to save lives."
But the number of people receiving organs pales in comparison to the number dying.