Celebrating Annastasia Rose Beal: A Pillar in Fentanyl Crisis Advocacy

Since joining us on October 9, 2023, as a Community Outreach & Resource Coordinator, Annastasia has significantly impacted our efforts and the community at large.

Annastasia is not only a valued member of our team but also the founder of her own nonprofit organization, Harm Reduction Circle. Established in 2020, Harm Reduction Circle has been at the forefront of providing crucial resources and training to communities affected by substance abuse. One of Annastasia’s notable contributions to FS was conducting our first naloxone training in April 2023 held shortly after our establishment in January 2023.

We are proud to announce Annastasia’s latest accomplishment within our community. Harm Reduction Circle, founded by Annastasia, was recently honored with a plaque and a spot on the prestigious Wall of Recognition in Irvine, California, presented by Mayor Farrah Khan. This award highlights her exceptional contributions.

Established in 2006 and located in Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park, the Wall of Recognition is a hallmark of Irvine. It celebrates community activism, involvement, and pride by honoring individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the community, enhancing its well-being and development.

Annastasia’s inclusion in this esteemed group underscores her exceptional contributions and dedication to making a positive difference. Her expertise and willingness to share her knowledge have been invaluable in our fight against the fentanyl crisis, significantly enhancing our team’s effectiveness and impact on the community.

FentanylSolution.org/Harm Reduction Circle/WiseBatch

Join us in our crucial mission to save lives from the fentanyl crisis and drive impactful awareness. Your donation today will make a significant difference!

Making a Difference Through Community Engagement

Recently, we had the privilege of attending and/or hosting resource tables at several significant events, spreading awareness, providing valuable information to the public and distributing naloxone and fentanyl test strips. Here’s a look at our involvement and its impact on the community.

Newport Beach Police Appreciation Luncheon

On April 26, 2024, we participated in the 51st Annual Newport Beach Police Appreciation Luncheon, hosted by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce at the PENDRY.

Featuring special guest emcee Keith Morrison from NBC’s Dateline, the event provided a wonderful opportunity to connect with law enforcement and the community, demonstrating our support for those who risk their lives to keep our community safe.

Blossoming Together Event

On April 13, 2024, we were part of the Orange County Blossoming Together event in Irvine. This vibrant celebration of cultural diversity and wellness, organized by the OC Health Care Agency’s Office of Wellness and Suicide Prevention in partnership with nonprofit organizations, aimed to support veterans, the LGBTQ+ community, and individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. By participating, we highlighted the intersection of mental health and substance abuse, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach to wellbeing.

By hosting a resource table, we provided educational materials and support resources to attendees, raising awareness about the dangers of fentanyl and the importance of prevention. The community’s response was overwhelmingly positive, reinforcing the impact of combining advocacy with popular community events.

2024 Supplier Outreach Event

On May 16, 2024, we hosted a resource table at the 2024 Supplier Outreach event in Fountain Valley. This event connected local businesses with government projects, offering a platform to showcase products and services. Our presence allowed us to engage with local business leaders and highlight the critical issue of fentanyl in our community. By fostering these connections, we aim to integrate our advocacy efforts into broader community and business initiatives, enhancing collective action against the fentanyl crisis.

National Fentanyl Awareness Day at Angel’s Game

We observed National Fentanyl Awareness Day on May 9, 2024, by organizing a special event that brought together families, organizations, and community members to cheer for the Angels baseball team.

This event held deep and special significance, as it was dedicated to honoring the memories of all victims and to the memory of Tyler Skaggs, an Angels pitcher who tragically died from fentanyl poisoning. Our event not only provided an opportunity for the community to unite in support of the Angels but also to reflect on the importance of education, prevention, and advocacy in the fight against fentanyl.

Mission Viejo Pride Event

On Saturday, June 8, 2024, we proudly hosted a resource table at the Mission Viejo Pride Event, held at the World Cup Soccer Field. Organized by Mission Viejo’s Diversity + Inclusion Task Force and Saddleback College’s Rainbow Collective, this free event aimed to show LGBTQI+ families that our community is safe, welcoming, and values diversity and inclusivity.

We provided valuable information on fentanyl awareness, prevention, naloxone, and fentanyl test strips, engaging attendees with educational materials and support resources. By connecting with the community, we continue to make a positive impact on public health and safety.

Our Impact and Dedication

At each of these events, our team worked diligently to provide essential resources, raise awareness, and foster community connections. Our efforts are driven by a commitment to making a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by the fentanyl crisis. By participating in these diverse events, we are able to reach a wide audience, educate the public, and advocate for effective policies.

The impact of our work is evident in the increased awareness and engagement we have seen within the community. Families, businesses, and individuals are becoming more informed about the dangers of fentanyl and the steps they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones. Our resource tables serve as a vital touchpoint for those seeking information and support, reinforcing the importance of education and advocacy in combating the fentanyl crisis.

Join us in our crucial mission to save lives from the fentanyl crisis and drive impactful awareness. Your donation today will make a significant difference!

Equipping Communities with Life-Saving Knowledge

These training sessions, which aim to educate attendees on the dangers of illicit fentanyl, how to respond to an opioid overdose, and how to administer naloxone, were held at the Orange County Veteran Advisory Council (OCVAC), during their council meeting, and for the staff of the Norooz Clinic Foundation (NCF). All attendees received naloxone kits, ensuring they are prepared to act in emergency situations.

Norooz Clinic Foundation (NCF)

On April 30, 2024, we conducted a Save-a-Life training session specifically for the staff of the Norooz Clinic Foundation. This training emphasized the intersection of mental health and opioid use, recognizing the critical role that mental health professionals play in addressing the opioid crisis.

Orange County Veteran Advisory Council (OCVAC)

On May 8, 2024, during the OCVAC council meeting, we delivered a comprehensive training session tailored to the needs of veterans and their families. The training highlighted the alarming rise of fentanyl-related overdoses and provided detailed instructions on recognizing the signs of an opioid overdose. OCVAC council members were taught how to administer naloxone. Each member received a naloxone kit, empowering them to save lives within their community.

Training Highlights

The Save-a-Life trainings provided by us included several key components:

Understanding Illicit Fentanyl: 

Attendees are educated on the extreme potency and dangers of illicit fentanyl, which has been a major contributor to the opioid crisis.

* Recognizing Opioid Overdoses:

The training details the signs of an opioid overdose, such as unresponsiveness, slow or irregular breathing, and pinpoint pupils.

Administering Naloxone:

Participants receive hands-on training on how to administer naloxone, ensuring they can confidently use the medication to reverse an opioid overdose.

Distribution of Naloxone Kits:

At the end of each session, we distribute naloxone kits to all attendees, providing them with the tools needed to save lives.

Community Impact and Future Initiatives

The Save-a-Life training represents a significant step forward in addressing the fentanyl crisis in Orange County. By educating community members and providing them with naloxone kits, we are empowering individuals to take action and save lives.

We remain committed to expanding its outreach efforts, with plans to conduct additional Save-a-Life trainings across various communities. By partnering with local organizations and continuously advocating for effective solutions to the opioid epidemic, we aim to make a lasting impact in the fight against fentanyl-related overdoses.

For more information about our Save-a-Life training, please email Christine Kirkwood at christine@fentanylsolution.org.

Join us in our crucial mission to save lives from the fentanyl crisis and drive impactful awareness. Your donation today will make a significant difference!

FentanylSolution.org Partners with Medea to Distribute Kloxxado in Orange County

We recently partnered with Medea, Inc. to distribute Kloxxado, a powerful naloxone nasal spray used to reverse opioid overdoses. As part of this initiative, we set up pop-up distribution sites at Recovery Road in Anaheim and the Buena Park Senior Center, also known as the Ehlers Senior Activity Center. The Buena Park Senior Center just so happened to have a display tribute to World War II veteran Lt. Walter D. Ehlers, honoring his legacy and contributions to the community.

Recovery Road in Anaheim:

The distribution aimed to equip individuals with the necessary tools to combat opioid overdoses, which have become increasingly prevalent in Orange County. Founder/CEO of Recovery Road, Robin Rush, has made a great impact in our community. We provided educational materials on how to use Kloxxado effectively, ensuring recipients are prepared to act in an emergency.

Buena Park Senior Center – Ehlers Senior Activity Center:

Opioid overdoses amongst senior citizens have grown exponentially since 2019. By providing naloxone to the seniors, we empower them to protect themselves and be aware of this issue. Coincidentally, while we were there, the center paid special tribute to Lt. Walter D. Ehlers, a decorated World War II veteran and local hero, whose legacy continues to inspire the Buena Park community.

Honoring Lt. Walter D. Ehlers: A True American Hero

Lt. Walter D. Ehlers passed away on February 20, 2014, at 92. Born in Ft. Riley, Kansas, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1940 with his brother, Roland. He served in the 7th, 3rd, and 1st Infantry Divisions, participating in invasions in North Africa, Sicily, and Normandy.

BP Mayor Art Brown pays his respects to Lt. Ehlers.

Walter heroically led a 12-man patrol across Omaha Beach on D-Day with no casualties. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery on June 9 and 10, 1944, near Goville, France, among other accolades. Buena Park honors him by naming their recreation center and celebrating Walter D. Ehlers Day on May 7th.

Impact and Future Initiatives

The collaboration between us and Medea to distribute Kloxxado represents a significant step in combating the opioid crisis in Orange County. We are committed to expanding its outreach efforts, with plans to set up more pop-up distribution sites and partner with local organizations to maximize their impact.

Join us in our crucial mission to save lives from the fentanyl crisis and drive impactful awareness. Your donation today will make a significant difference!