Sewing Machine Factory, which hosts musicians, comedy and art shows, has been open for approximately six months and it recently added a naloxone kit to its first aid kit.
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Naloxone can be used as an antidote to a fentanyl overdose and can temporarily reverse an overdose, which allows the victim time to get medical help.
Employee Tabitha Woodford said she has been concerned about the fentanyl overdose issue, particularly since she works in the music scene.
“I know a lot of people who are casual drugs users just being in the music and art scene. It’s something I worry about just because I know there are people in my life who might be affected,” she said.
“It’s dependent on individuals and their own choices but I think where people party and where people have a lot of fun, drugs can come into play and it’s important to recognize that.”
Woodford recently signed up for a naloxone training course and, after it was over, she walked to a nearby pharmacy and picked up a naloxone kit.
“I think it’s mostly, what if? I hope I don’t have to use it but if that situation was to arise, if there’s something I can do to keep someone safe, save someone’s life, why not?” she said.
Co-owner Greg Doucet said the venue has had the kit for approximately a month; it has not been used yet.
“As a business owner, it definitely puts your mind at ease knowing you’re prepared for any kind of situation that might happen.”
Doucet is hopeful the idea will catch on with other music venues and bars.
“I feel like it should be the choice of the venue or the bar… but I do feel like it’s an important thing to have,” he said.
“We’re not really here to tell anybody what they can or can’t do or what they should or shouldn’t do. It’s their personal choice. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared for it.”
Sewing Machine Factory will be holding a naloxone training seminar on Jan. 23. Woodford said reception has been positive from employees as well as those who work in other venues.
“Pretty much everyone I know who works in a venue, we’ve had the conversation,” she said. “With the training seminar coming up, it’s been overwhelming how many people want to get involved and want to get educated and get their own kits just to prevent anything from happening.”