The opioid epidemic has devastated the country for the past two decades, taking far too many lives.
“It is not gender specific, it's not race specific or age specific but it is killing the young people at a staggering rate,” said Mark Greenburg, MD, professor of pediatrics and anesthesiology at UC San Diego.
For Greenburg, who has two young adult children himself, the statistics are particularly troubling.
“I asked them if they had seen anything like this and my daughter said, ‘Well we had a kid at a party who turned blue. We knew he took pills, and we didn't know what to do,'” said Greenburg.
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So he knew he needed to do something about it.
“And I said, ‘What would've helped?'” said Greenburg. “And they said, ‘I wish we had an app,’ and I said, ‘I’m going to make an app.' That was about six months ago.”
Rescue Me CPR is free. It helps teach untrained people to step in and perform CPR on someone experiencing an opioid overdose or any type of cardiac arrest.
“Our app is amazingly easy to use. the minute you turn it on and click the button for the disclaimer it's already telling you what to do,” said Greenburg.
Opioid overdose deaths top the list of leading causes of death in the U.S. According to San Diego County officials, 1,303 people died from an overdose last year.
“The problem is many people would like to help but they don't know the steps, or they vaguely know the steps and they don't get it right,” said Greenburg. “The app keeps you on task.”
Greenburg says his goal is to get the app on as many phones as possible and save lives, one download at a time.
Rescue Me App is available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.