The Rotary Club of Eureka meeting was opened at noon by President Mindy Sehon via Zoom. There were 33 people in attendance.

Linda Wise provided the inspirational thought.  Linda talked about how important it is to practice gratitude.

Klark Swan said if you know of any non-profits, schools, etc. working on projects that they need help funding please urge them to apply for small grants.  The applications are available on our web site: https://rotary1.org/forms/grant-applications/

Carly Robbins said that the Past Presidents will be meeting tonight to discuss applications received for the Sign Smith grant https://rotary1.org/forms/grant-applications/ Decisions are being made tonight by all past presidents who attend the meeting at 5:30 on Zoom.

President Mindy announced:

  • The press release on the donation we recently made to Eureka City Schools to pay off the students lunch debt, ran in the Times-Standard yesterday.
  • NCAA updates have been sent by Arny King.  He will be sending updates about the winners as the final games are played.
  • Happy birthday to Arny King on 4/4.  Nancy Dean is celebrating 15 years as a Rotarian.

SPEAKERS- Humboldt Harm Reduction Coalition- Jessica Smith and Brian Olson provided a presentation.

Brian is the coordinator of Eureka Community Resource Center which is an outreach program of Provident Health.  The Coalition was established in 2019.  A number of different agencies are involved in this coalition including Provident Health.  Many community members are involved as well.  http://rxsafehumboldt.org

Purpose: to advance harm reduction policies practices and programs that address the averse effects of drug use.

In Spring 2020 the Coalition developed and distributed a survey to better understand our community’s knowledge and perspective on harm reduction. The survey reached 621 individuals. They learned there’s a lack of knowledge about harm reduction.

Examples of harm reduction – getting a taxi or ride home when you’ve had too much to drink.  Wearing a seat belt is also harm reduction.

Substance Use Disorder is a chronic brain disease.  Not all drug addicts have a substance Use Disorder but this is a medical, science-based disease.  For more information on this disease go to:  www.harmreduction.org

Not all drug and alcohol use is unsafe – there are a spectrum of uses and behavior.  Recovery goals are unique to each individual.  Why we should care…. Death rates in Humboldt County for 2020.  Alcohol induced deaths-58, alcohol liver disease deaths-35, total substance use disorder deaths-47, drug poisoning deaths-36. Covid deaths-22.  It’s a problem in all communities.

Harm reduction as applied to drug use could include many things like:

Pharmacotherapy/Medication for Opioid Use Disorder, Nondrinking-non-drug-using driver, syringe exchange programs, drug decriminalization, reducing use of a substance, etc.

Various treatment options include:

  • HACHR reported 134 successful overdose reversals from Narcom/Naloxone for 2020. Narcan is a nasal spray you can get from Harm Reduction Coalition and carry with you in case of need. Law enforcement carries and uses this when necessary but individuals can as well.
  • Pharmacotherapy is proven to reduce the harm associated with various substances more so than abstinence.
  • Residential Treatment Programs are options for some people. There are 3 in Humboldt.  Crossroads, Waterfront Recovery Services, Humboldt Recovery Center.
  • Syringe Exchange Programs have been proven to reduce the harm of injection drug use and addiction. We have 4 total SEP’s in Humboldt County. Syringe Litter has been an issue and in the news a lot locally.  Best way to address this is to provide more opportunities for people to dispose of used syringes. We need to expand syringe disposal sites.

Nearly 50% of inmates in Federal prisons were sentenced for drug offences. Treatment slots are available for only about 10% of those with serious drug habits

50% of individuals with severe mental health disorders are affected by substance abuse.  At least 25% of the homeless also suffer from pre-existing mental health disorders.

It’s important to educate yourself and share that knowledge.

Portugal is a good example of social shift around drug use… https://time.com/longform/portugal-drug-use-decriminalization/

Meeting was adjourned at 1:10pm