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Cleveland organization working to prevent overdose deaths during NBA All-Star Weekend

Published: Feb. 19, 2022 at 10:23 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Sara Szelagowski, the founder of “Project White Butterfly,” is doing a different kind of NBA All-Star Weekend prep — one she said can save lives.

“For businesses, especially in downtown in busy areas, I think it’s really important for these establishments to have Narcan on hand,” she said.

Szelagowski said she’s handed out the opioid antagonist medication to local restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings, The Clevelander and Wahlburgers, to make sure tourists are safe during the NBA All-Star Weekend.

Szelagowski’s warning extends to anyone buying drugs in Cuyahoga County, which she said are sometimes laced with fentanyl.

She said increasing overdose rates have been caused by a mixture of party drugs, including cocaine and methamphetamine.

In trying to do some community service, Szelagowski is not afraid to share her own story

“I went to the bottom. I ended up bankrupt, divorced and in jail,” she said.

As Cleveland takes center stage for the NBA All-Star Game Sunday, Szelagowski urged the importance of having a plan in place for the worst-case scenario.

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