This organization wants Music Midtown-goers to stop by its tent | Here’s why – WXIA

ATLANTA — As thousands descend onto Piedmont Park this weekend for Atlanta’s signature music festival, one tent will be celebrating the tunes while educating festivalgoers.

This Must Be The Place, a nonprofit focused on educating about the dangers of fentanyl, will be at Music Midtown. The organization will distribute donated doses of Kloxxado or Naloxone, a life-saving opioid reversal medicine to concertgoers and teach them how to use it.

Cofounder William Perry said the cause is close to his heart. Five years into his recovery from opioid addiction and now a certified chemical dependency counselor, his mission is to get life-saving information to people who may not know when they’ll need it.

“We basically said that ‘hey, you know, we cannot sit around any longer and expect people to come to us to learn about overdose prevention, fentanyl and its dangers. We need to go find them,” Perry said.

Based in Ohio, a crew travels around to different music festivals to join in on the fun and offer its services. It’s because those most at risk of overdosing are 16 to 45 years old, Perry explained, adding that they often make up concertgoers at a festival.

“Therefore we decided to hit the road and start traveling around and handling this stuff out,” he said. “Therefore, we have no centralized location. So wherever we go, this must be the place.”

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It wasn’t always easy to get this life-saving information or for anyone to get their hands on reversal drugs.

“It was illegal for us to possess,” he said. “I’ve lost so many friends to the opioid epidemic.”

He said it took too long for the government to get drugs like naloxone, narcan and luxardo into the hands of everyday people. Now that he can get ahold of these drugs and help keep people from slipping into untimely deaths, he wants to empower others save loved ones too.

“I feel that the best way that I can honor the lives of the friends that I’ve lost – and to try to protect others from having to endure the same kind of tragedy and loss – is to take this stuff and get it out to as many people as possible,” Perry said. 

His “tour” works. Perry reports that since This Must Be the Place has taken its mission on the road, he’s heard anecdotally of at least 100 reversals. With more dangerous derivatives of fentanyl, or street fentanyl, becoming more prominent he said the risk of overdosing is increasing.

“Our target audience is someone who might choose to do something every now and again,” he said, “or even somebody that doesn’t use drugs at all but might be the bystander when a situation like that occurs.”

Perry said with more than 27 known types of street fentanyl, someone who has no tolerance and accidentally comes across the derivative could experience an extreme effect and might be closer to an overdose than they realize.

“And so you oftentimes need much more of the medicine to bring them back,” he said. 

That’s why he’s inviting Music Midtown fans to come to This Must Be the Place. The booth will be set up inside the 12th Street entrance of Piedmont Park. Volunteers can train people on the signs and symptoms of an overdose – a process that takes 2 to 3 minutes, according to Perry. 

“Most people don’t even realize that it’s only a nasal spray,” he said. “So that’s all it takes right here to save a life.”


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