Karen Organization of Minnesota Life-Saving Naloxone Training with Our Community

On March 15, we invited a staff member from Steve Rummler HOPE Network to come and give a Naloxone training for parents in the Karen community. Joining us were some KOM staff members and a nurse from M Health Fairview. 

Learning About Naloxone and Opioid Use 

Throughout the training, parents get to learn about what Naloxone is, the history of opioid use (from legal to illegal), how to recognize signs and symptoms of overdose, when is the best time to administer Narcan, how to respond to emergency situations, and so much more. 

Steve’s Law: Minnesota Good Samaritan Law 

Parents learned about Steve’s Law, also known as the Minnesota Good Samaritan Law — a law that protects individuals from legal and criminal conflicts when helping a person who may be experiencing an overdose. According to Steve Rummler’s Foundation, “Steve’s Law provides limited immunity to those who call 911 in good faith to save a life and allow first responders, law enforcement, and trained lay people to administer naloxone, which can counteract the effects of opioid overdose within minutes.” 

Hands-on Training and Q&A 

During the training, parents had the opportunity to learn how to administer both the needle and nasal spray versions of Naloxone. At the end, parents preferred to use the nasal sprays as they are less scary and easier to use. Parents were also given time for questions, and everyone was provided with a free Naloxone kit of their preference (nasal or needle). 

New Developments for KOM’s Response to the Opioid Epidemic 

KOM will receive $856,950 from April 2024-June 2026 to support our work with Karen youth with opioid misuse problems. This grant will help support our three Youth Case Managers who are providing wraparound support for youth and families. It also funds a new Youth Health Program Manager, who will work with our team as well as schools, hospitals, clinics, public safety, court systems, and community leaders to improve our coordinated response for youth and their families. Finally, the grant includes funds for the Asian Youth Outreach mentorship program (now part of the Urban Village) and the University of Minnesota for assistance with research and staff training. 


Learn more about our work in the community to reduce substance use and support youth struggling with addiction through the Star Tribune’s recent article ‘Alarming rate’ of fentanyl, meth fuels dispute between St. Paul Karen gangs, which features our youth health team and Board Chair Kaziah Josiah. 

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