Drug death prompts advocate to meet users anywhere so they don't overdose alone
'I just don't want to see anybody else die,' says Brandon Bailey
Brandon Bailey's good friend died of an apparent drug overdose on Sunday, and that prompted him to take prevention into his own hands.
In a social media post, he warns drug users to "never use alone" and offers up his personal cell phone to ensure at least he'll be there if someone overdoses.
"I will drive to wherever you are and I don't care if I have to go in a house, sit in a vehicle, sit on the side of the road," said Bailey.
And by being there, not only can he call 911, he will be able to administer naloxone, which he carries "all the time."
This isn't the first friend of Bailey's who has died of a drug overdose, but it definitely was a tipping point.
Our conversation in our community started very late and it's still ongoing.- Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health
Bailey has been pushing for an overdose prevention site (OPS) in Windsor, and is a part of the Windsor Overdose Prevention Society. He said his friend who died over the weekend also supported an OPS.
According to Bailey, because of the stigma and his friend being in recovery, "he passed away in his room."
"It happens more times than not, people relapsing," said Bailey. "If somebody wants to go use, at least they'll be able to use in a site where they are [around medical professionals]."
Status of overdose prevention site?
But it doesn't look like an OPS is coming to Windsor anytime soon. The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit doesn't expect to make the end-of-year application deadline.
"Our conversation in our community started very late and it's still ongoing," said Dr. Wajid Ahmed, acting medical officer of health.
Adding to that, not everyone in the community is on the same page. Both Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens and Windsor police chief Al Frederick have been vocal opponents to having an OPS in the city.
Lack of community coordination
Ahmed said the biggest thing holding the OPS application back is the need to coordinate social services and treatment programs in the community. According to him, that's a requirement before an OPS application can be submitted to the province.
In the meantime, Bailey said, he's going to do whatever he can to help the opioid crisis.
"I just don't want to see anybody else die," says Bailey