INTERVIEW: MUSICIANS FOR OVERDOSE PREVENTION
Musicians for Overdose Prevention is a society which demands change in all venues distributing and carries naloxone. The price for it right now is too high, so this amazing organisation have protested for years and staged an outside concert to louden their voices even further. We sat down with the instigator to chat more about what this cause means to them, and what change has already been made!
Hello! What inspires you to put on this concert every year at Musicians for Overdose Prevention? There will be a moment 2-3 years from now when every music venue, every musician, every festival, every tour carries naloxone. It will happen. The underground music scene of punk bands and punk clubs is already there. Now there are signs that the mainstream is finally shifting in that direction - thousands of naloxone kits being distributed at festivals like Bonnaroo and Burning Man, bands like Interpol, Spoon, Animal Collective working with harm reduction groups on their tours. The only real question is whether you as an individual want to help lead this initiative - or you want to drag your feet and then wonder why when everyone else is carrying naloxone as a sign of empowerment and unity. Have you seen good results so far, how long have you been doing this for?
Hell, we've been distributing naloxone for two years. Two years ago there were so many music venues in our area that wouldn't answer our emails or want to meet with us. Now there are music industry initiatives like TEMPO (run by Gibson Gives) that is distributing naloxone. We get emails and messages on insta once a week from bands and individuals who want to distribute naloxone in their scenes. Can you please tell us your mission goal and what the ultimate aim is for this movement? There isn't much that music can't do. The music world, musicians in general, give a shit. Music has been plagued by overdose since its creation as modern art. Now you can carry naloxone and save a life. Music is also a wonderful platform for sharing a message. It's very powerful when bands stand up on stage and say - carry naloxone. When bands say - we need greater availability and affordability of a life-saving drug. When we say that Big Pharma is profiting off our death again. When we say that Big Pharma and Wall Street were the biggest drug pushers during the "war against drugs." Please. Music lives to poke a finger in the eye of hypocrisy. What bands have played this year? Long Live GoGo, The Pronouns Band, Silk Leash played on a flatbed truck outside Emergent BioSolutions. And lastly, what are your plans for next year's event? If Emergent BioSolutions is still charging $75-$90 for narcan we'll be back. That's too expensive for musicians. Too expensive for people using. Too expensive for nonprofits. It's just priced for the government to purchase it at these elevated prices. We see the bullshit - and we're calling it out. Carry naloxone - it will save a life.