Transgender Activist and Executive Director of Empowering the Transgender Community Earline Budd released the following statement in response to recent deaths believed to be related to drug overdose in the DC LGBTQ Community.
In December 2018 I sent out a “Call To Action” regarding the spike in K2 Synthetic Drug and heroin overdoses here in the District of Columbia. On June 27th a transgender woman whom I have known and worked with for over 15 years was found dead at 7th and H Street N.W. She was homeless and had her struggles, but did not deserve to go out like this. It was said to be a suspected overdose of some type of drug that she consumed.
In the last 90 days the LBGTQ community has had several deaths believed to be related to the synthetic drugs and heroin. This epidemic has hit home for the LBGTQ community again after the death of Diamond Colson a transgender woman age 31.
While city agencies including the police department, the Department of Human Services along with homeless shelters are said to be trying to curb this ongoing problem, it has resurfaced and again is claiming lives of those we love and work with.
Even with the creation of the city “Emergency Alert” flier with information about K2/heroin and drug addiction resources that officers and homeless advocates are now passing out, we must come together to discuss what more can be done. One life is too many, and there must also be consequences for those who are mixing up these deadly drugs killing people. While there is a
lot of funding for Opcode Overdose Prevention, there must be more done for those who are within the LBGTQ community which is a very silent conversation. “Call to Action” is now and we can’t sit by and just watch people die off. While it is not you today experiencing the loss of someone, it can be you tomorrow.
- Seek substance use disorder treatment. Call the Assessment and Referral Center (The ARC) at 202-727-8437
- Get connected to behavioral health services. Call the 24/7 Access HelpLine at 1-888-793-4357
- Contact an outreach worker 202-442-4634 (DHS) or 202-673-9124 (DBH)
LGBTQ Specific Recovery Information
- Visit the Triangle Club website to learn more about traditional twelve step programs.
- An LGBTQ Smart Recovery Group meets weekly on Saturday Evenings at 8PM. Find out more here.
- For Harm Reduction information and resources, connect with www.hips.org