October 16, 2023

Warriors in the Community, Episode 27: AmeriCorps Community Training for Overdose Rescue (ACT) program

Warriors in the Community is a radio segment that features short, insightful interviews with key figures from Wayne State University about the many ways in which the university and its programs make a positive impact on the metro area and on the lives of Detroiters. 

In our latest episode, we talk with Chelsea Mudalagi, member experience coordinator for the AmeriCorps Community Training for Overdose Rescue (ACT) program. ACT prepares community members in Southeast Michigan to take action during an overdose emergency to help save lives. Launched in October 2019, the ACT program also recruits AmeriCorps service members from the community to teach others how to recognize an opioid overdose and how to respond if they discover an overdose emergency.

Announcer:  This is Warriors in the Community, brought to you by Wayne State University. And now, to learn about how Wayne State is positively impacting our communities, here's Darrell Dawsey. 

Darrell Dawsey: Today, I'm with Chelsea Mudalagi. She's a research assistant at the Center for Urban Studies and the member experience coordinator for the AmeriCorps Community Training for Overdose Rescue Program.

Now, you're going to talk to us a little bit about the work that we do at Wayne State around overdose rescue. Can you give us a short description of the sort of work that ACT does to prevent drug overdose?

Chelsea Mudalagi: Absolutely. So ACT stands for AmeriCorps Community Training for Overdose Rescue. We're part of the Center for Urban Studies at Wayne State. 

Chelsea Mudalagi

So our ACT members come to us and serve for six months, training Metro Detroiters to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency. Everything that we do is grounded in data about how the opioid overdose crisis has impacted different parts of the area. And we're also firmly rooted in a concept called harm reduction. So our main goal is to help everyone be safer and ultimately prevent opioid related overdose deaths. No matter what a person might be going through, we want to save lives.

Darrell Dawsey: How do you train others in the community to handle drug overdoses? And how many community members have you trained?

Chelsea Mudalagi: At this point, we are losing about 80, 000 people a year to opioid overdoses nationally. So shouldn't we all be prepared? So really at this moment in 2023, the crisis is affecting everybody. At this time, we've trained over 4, 000 people in this.

Darrell Dawsey: Can you share with us an example of how your work or the training that you provide has made a positive difference?

Chelsea Mudalagi: There's one training that I really love to highlight is the Detroit Zoo.

So for the last several years, we have actually trained the Detroit Zoo security team. So I think also what I see with that sort of training is that even though the stigma around these issues is still out there, we are seeing partners like the Detroit Zoo come forward and say, we want this information and that helps us get the message out there quite a bit.

And I think it really highlights how times are changing and truly everyone out there can help make a difference in this crisis.

Darrell Dawsey: Chelsea, thank you so much for joining us, and of course, thank you so much for the important work you do.

Chelsea Mudalagi: You're very welcome. Thank you so much for having me.

Announcer: This has been Warriors in the Community.For more Wayne State news, please visit us online at today. wayne. edu slash wwj and join us here next Monday at the same time for more Warriors in the Community.


Subscribe to Today@Wayne

Direct to your inbox twice a week

Related articles