Founded by our CEO Theo Krzywicki, Leah Schexnayder, and Katie Krzywicki in 2018, End Overdose is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California working to end drug-related overdose deaths through education, medical intervention, and public awareness.
- According to data from the CDC, drug-related overdoses are the number one cause of death for people ages 18-45. Synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, causing 2/3rd of those deaths.
- Experimental drug use and addiction puts young people as one of the most at-risk populations for overdoses.
- Fentanyl is lethal in small amounts (2mg) and many times people are unaware their drugs contain fentanyl.
- 40% of overdose deaths could have been prevented if someone present knew how and when to intervene.
- Oftentimes, there is a lack of education on and accessibility to these overdose prevention and response resources.
- Educate and train individuals on how and when to intervene during a suspected overdose.
- Interventions include:
- calling 911,
- the use of fentanyl testing strips,
- the ability to recognize the symptoms of an overdose,
- the administration of Narcan to reverse an opioid overdose.
- Our online training is 100% free and encouraged for everyone to take.
- Make resources that prevent overdose-related deaths accessible to everyone across the country.
- Equip individuals with preventative (fentanyl test strips) and responsive (Narcan/naloxone) overdose tools.
- Directly target outreach to most at-risk populations via in-person education and resource distribution.
- De-stigmatize the conversation surrounding mental health, addiction, and overdoses.
FOUNDER & CEO
Theo Krzywicki's innovative leadership as the Founder and CEO of End Overdose, combined with his extensive experience as a firefighter paramedic, has been pivotal in transforming the landscape of public health engagement through pioneering strategies in overdose prevention education. His firsthand insights from emergency response scenarios have been crucial in developing training programs that equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to act effectively and swiftly in overdose emergencies.
Under Theo's direction, End Overdose has launched impactful messaging campaigns aimed at weaving overdose prevention into the fabric of community culture, ensuring the organization's initiatives are not external efforts but integral parts of the communities they serve. A cornerstone of these efforts is an online training platform that employs social media's engaging techniques to captivate and educate its audience, reflecting Theo's commitment to innovative and accessible education.
His strategic approach to fostering a multi-sector collaboration has successfully rallied various industries to support the fight against the opioid crisis, highlighting the organization's initiatives through both active participation and increased visibility in daily life. This comprehensive strategy has led to significant achievements in 2023, including the training of over 216,000 individuals in overdose response, the distribution of 166,000 doses of naloxone, and the integration of naloxone acceptance at festivals and music venues. Additionally, End Overdose's efforts have expanded to include county-wide naloxone training and the incorporation of educational programs in public schools, significantly enhancing community preparedness and response capabilities.
The emergence of a dynamic social movement centered around overdose prevention, coupled with the establishment of 30 End Overdose chapters nationwide, underscores the extensive community engagement and momentum spurred by Theo's visionary leadership. These achievements not only reflect a substantial stride towards mitigating the opioid crisis but also showcase Theo Krzywicki's profound impact on public health, through a blend of practical knowledge, innovative solutions, and compassionate advocacy.
Theo connected with Ryan Hampton, an influential advocate, speaker, author, and media commentator in America's addiction recovery advocacy and drug policy reform movements. Hampton is a former member of the Clinton White House and part of the core team that released the first-ever U.S. Surgeon General's report on alcohol, drugs, and health in 2016.
Theo collaborated with Ryan Hampton to provide a Facebook live training on how to use naloxone for a Mobilize Recovery event. As a paramedic in Riverside County, Theo was urged to start his own nonprofit to simplify training for individuals. Thus, End Overdose was initially created to provide Narcan training for drug treatment centers and sober living homes in Southern California, which has over 3,000 drug treatment centers and a high rate of opioid use and relapse. Theo recognized the significance of these places carrying naloxone and decided to provide free training to them.
End Overdose was incorporated when Katie Krzywicki and Leah Schexnayder officially joined the team. Together, they worked established the framework for the organization's legal and website development.With their help, End Overdose earned a federal 501c3 status. End Overdose made connections with the LA County Substance Abuse Prevention Control, Harm Reduction Coalition, Remedy Alliance, Painted Brain, and other various government and community organizations. They registered with California's Narcan Distribution Project, receiving and distributing 120 kits at 15 different centers.
End Overdose was invited to give a naloxone training at the Echoplex in LA following Lil Peep's death. The event included Morgan Freed (owner and founder of emonite), Sirah, Natasha (Kreayshawn), and Brittney Scott, and became a monthly community meeting until the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020. End Overdose began work with the Los Angeles Nightlife Association, and built connections and trust various nightlife and unground party throwers such as restlessnites and the overpass.
End Overdose conducted trainings with West Hollywood City Counsel and formed partnerships with the Los Angeles mayor's office. Chris Poyorena came onboard to help run day to day operations, while Theo joined the Los Angeles City Fire Department. End Overdose began planning a pro bono media campaign worth $100,000 to train all Los Angeles residents to respond to overdoses. Unfortunately, the outbreak of Covid-19 led to the cancellation of the campaign and other plans.
End Overdose developed their first online training to conduct outreach during the pandemic, a time of increasing reports of fentanyl overdoses and lack of resources to prevent them.
End Overdose saw a huge uptake in online trainings due to increased social media traction. The California Narcan Distribution Project awarded End Overdose with 3600 doses of Narcan and End Overdose purchased 3000 doses of intramuscular naloxone for distribution. In October, End Overdose started providing formal trainings for larger scale nightlife events.
End Overdose released an updated version of their online training and partnered with artists and creatives such as Cami Petyn, Hvdes, and Cooper Noriega to expand their reach. They also launched their first college outreach chapter at UCLA and joined the mobilize recovery tour in September, distributing 10,000 doses of naloxone and 5000 fentanyl testing strips nationwide.
End Overdose partners with Insomniac Events, a leading EDM festival production company, in October 2022, to expand their reach into the music scene. Later that year, End Overdose collaborates with the National Association of City and County Health Officials and CDC Foundation on a project to provide trainings for middle and high schools across California.