The legislation passed in 2014, the same year Andy, a musician and 12-year emergency room nurse, began volunteering with Georgia Overdose Prevention and the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition.
To date, the organizations have given out naloxone that has reversed a minimum of 1,000 potentially life-threatening overdoses, Andy said.
Mary “Reese” Craig, Andy’s manager in Northside’s ER, said Andy deserves recognition for her efforts.
“Andy’s passion for this cause is evident both in her personal life and professional career as she educates not only her patients but also members of her community,” she said.
Andy meets with addicts to educate them on the amnesty law, as well as how and when to use Narcan. She also was interviewed on television news in 2017 about the increased opioid epidemic, she said.
“Andy’s influence has definitely had a positive impact on this growing epidemic,” Mary said.
According to the Substance Abuse Research Alliance, the number of prescription opioid overdose deaths has increased 200 percent in the U.S. since 2000. In Georgia, 549 opioid drug overdoses were reported in 2015, with 29 of the state’s 159 counties having drug overdose rates surpassing the national average.
Andy stresses that with the 2014 law, education and Narcan that doesn’t have to be the case.
“You don’t have to die of an overdose. Literally, nobody has to die.”