"It became clear to me in 2019 that we needed to start fighting the opioid crisis on a local level," said dance music producer Lauren Flax in a recent press release. And fight she has—that year, she founded Last Night a Deejay Saved My Life, a New York City-based collective dedicated to fighting addiction in local nightlife.
Alongside Danielle Pickering—a registered nurse at the LGBTQ-focused Callen-Lorde Community Health Center—and Dr. Julius Johnson of the National Black Nurses Association, Flax and the organization have hosted harm reduction classes and overdose response training. Now, their latest initiative seeks to train and provide New York-based DJs and bar staff with Narcan, a lifesaving drug that fights the effects of overdose.
This push for accessibility couldn't have been more urgent. According to the CDC, American drug overdose deaths rose nearly 30% in 2020. Fentanyl, a substance commonly cut with illicit substances like cocaine, ketamine and MDMA, was particularly deadly, The New York Times reported.
With fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths on the rise in New York, Last Night a Deejay Saved My Life seeks to expand the national network of trained harm reduction individuals and, most importantly, prevent further loss of life. Flax continued, "I think if we can grow this collective to many cities and countries but keep the mentality of fighting this locally, we can make real global change."
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In addition to offering training to the public, Last Night a Deejay Saved My Life has also put out a call for organization representatives in cities across the US. To get in touch, you can use the organization's contact form.