BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Health Equity Alliance of Maine is hosting a 'Narcan Party' in honor of Overdose Awareness Day Thursday evening in downtown Bangor. Organization members will be handing out free Narcan kits from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Pickering Square.

Narcan, also known as naloxone, is an overdose reversal drug. Between March of 2016 and January of 2017, the organization distributed 252 Narcan kits to people actively using drugs. The kits were accompanied by training on preventing, identifying and responding to an opioid overdose. They were also given a postcard to report the results of using the medication. Of the 252 kits distributed by the organization, the staff heard of more than 60 successful reversals.

"That’s 60 lives saved, 60 families spared the loss of a parent or child” Ross Hicks said. Hicks is the organizations's Harm Reduction Coordinator, “The evidence is there: direct distribution to people who use drugs works. It saves lives.”

According to the Attorney General's Office, in 2016 376 Mainers died from drug overdoses. HEAL has been running a campaign called 'Keep Calm and Carry Naloxone' to raise money to combat this tragedy. The organizations hope to raise $28,200 to be able to purchase 376 Narcan kits. "All proceeds will be used to maintain and expand access to naloxone in an effort to lower Maine’s escalating overdose death rate, including fostering new distribution points in areas that currently lack access to the medication." according to a release from HEAL.

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