Starbucks is where millions of people go to get their daily caffeine fix, but outside one location off Cantrell in Little Rock is where a different addiction took a lethal turn.
“You never know when you’re going to be in this situation where you’ve got to save a life,” Araya ‘Sunshine’ Harrison said.
Minutes before her shift was over, Araya was alerted to a situation outside.
“This guy comes in and he says that someone OD’ed in our parking lot.”
She looked outside, couldn’t find anyone and headed back inside.
A few minutes later she saw a guy carrying another man from around the bushes over to the Starbucks sidewalk.
“They sat him just right here,” she said pointing to the area near the door.
On the phone with 911, a customer started CPR. Araya took over the chest compressions until the fire department arrived.
“They gave him Narcan and oxygen and when he was able to come to he said that he’d overdosed on heroin,” she said.
According to the Arkansas Drug Director, Kirk Lane, there have been 142 documented Narcan saves in the state since the Naloxone project began less than 2 years ago. Narcan is an opioid reversal nasal spray first responders use in some overdose situations.
“This isn’t something that’s not necessarily foreign to me,” Araya said.
It’s happened to one of her own family members.
“I was about 11 and she’d taken an entire bottle of pills and I walked in and I had to call 911 then as well,” she said, now 21.
In this case, she has no idea who the man was.
“Hoping that one day I’ll see him and he’s different.”
Thanks to Araya, the man in the parking lot, whoever he is, lived to see another day.
Araya doesn’t know who the two customers were who helped her with the distressed man, but says if it’s you, there’s a coffee waiting for you, her treat.