MILWAUKEE — Narcan can save lives. It can help prevent people from dying in the event of an opioid overdose. Narcan kits are popping up for free around businesses and cafes in Milwaukee, thanks in part to one Milwaukee woman.
Chelsea England wants to get these life saving devices into as many people’s pockets as possible. That’s why she created MKE Overdose Prevention.
“The more people that have access to Narcan and understand the signs and symptoms of overdoes or how to help someone overdosing, the more lives we can save. I don’t think that using drugs should be a death sentence," she said.
She knows the dangers of drugs. Chelsea struggled with an opioid addiction when she was younger. She has since recovered, but recently she saw someone die from an overdose right in front of her. That’s what inspired her to start MKE Overdose Prevention in 2021.
"Just knowing people that have passed away, seeing someone passing away at the hospital I worked at, I felt really lucky to have stopped using drugs,” she shared.
She hosts free training seminars for businesses and families and gives out free Narcan. She’s hosting a public event at the Daily Bird Cafe Tuesday at 6 p.m.
The owner of the cafe, Dan Zwart, believes in this just as much as her.
“The amount of people that I know that could still be alive right now is insane,” Zwart said.
He already has Narcan behind the register. However, every first Tuesday of the month, he also hosts public Narcan training events. Anyone and everyone is welcome.
Zwart also knows how dangerous drugs can be. He fought through his own struggle with addiction, and so did his brothers.
“Both my brothers overdosed and died. I don’t want to go into that,” he shared.
With Narcan, maybe those lives and the 604 people who died from overdoses in Milwaukee County in 2021 could have been saved. All it could take is carrying one small device in your pocket.