Reducing stigma: Alcohol industry works together to raise awareness about naloxone
A group of businesses, many involved in brewing and serving alcohol, is working to make overdose reversal drugs more accessible.
Since the start of the year, about 70 businesses have joined. Each business agrees to make naloxone or narcan kits accessible on site, and receives — Naloxone On Site — stickers to put in their windows.
Red Shed Malting, in Penhold, just recently joined the group. Co-owner Matt Hamill said being located on a farm, his business wouldn’t provide easy access to naloxone, so he contacted Penhold Mayor Michael Yargeau to figure out how to make it available in the town.
“I think our biggest role is just being a voice and showing some support. We don’t have a giant platform. But we’re happy to use what we have for causes like this,” Matt said.
He said it’s interesting that the origin of Each+Every initiative is the alcohol industry, but he has found there to be a lot of collaboration in this industry in the province, which has grown since Red Shed began producing malt in late 2015.
“There were about 19 people producing beer in the province when we started and now there’s over 100. We’ve seen breweries go from really tiny places to being big players in the provincial market.”
Co-owner Daelyn Hamill said as a malt producer, Red Shed can play a role in reducing the stigma of addiction at the mid-point of the industry, between brewing and serving.
“Harm reduction is about involving the people and making it about the people, and figuring out how to help to reduce the harm,” Daelyn said.