App that helps people respond to overdoses is a 'game changer'
App that helps people respond to overdoses is a 'game changer' (UpNorthLive News)

MICHIGAN (WPBN/WGTU) -- It's something you may never thought you would ever have to do. 

But the reality is, every day, the odds are getting greater that you may have to save a life using a drug reversal agent like Narcan. 

What's why the MDHHS has announced help could be as close as your phone. 

"Nationally, overdoses are an issue. But even in northern Michigan, we're seeing a rise especially with the introduction of fentanyl to the area," said Paula Lipinski, the CEO of Addiction Treatment Services. 

There are a lot of people trained to respond to a drug overdose. 

But the reality is, the first people on the scene are likely friends and loved ones.

That where something like a phone app has proven to be a game changer. 

"Absolutely a complete game changer. I mean, if you look at this, their life saving medications they're changing someone's trajectory in their life to allow them to get recovery," Lipinski said. 

Lipinski believes the more we all know about an issue and the more tools to treat it, the better, 

This month, MDHHS is adding another tool in the fight against opioid deaths. 

They've launched the OpiRescue smartphone app. It's a powerful, but relatively simple app with a relatively simple goal.

"The goal of the app is to give lay people tools to recognize and respond to drug overdoses," said Rob Valuck, Ph.D.

Valuck explained that the app has several longer-term overdose reversal related functions, including educational and treatment options. 

But it's really geared for walking someone through what to do in the critical moments when an overdose occurs. 

"In the heat of the moment. It's really easy to get flustered and not remember the things and not and we just want something very simple. Have a naloxone, have OpiRescue with you as an app, and you're equipped," Valuck said. 

It's not intended to replace lifesaving medical intervention. 

But there's hope that an app like this may keep someone alive long enough to get them the help they really need. 

The OpiRescue app is free and available for Android and IOS platforms. 

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