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Narcan may be going more harm than good

Author: Bob Bodnar

Is Narcan the answer?

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 30,700 alcohol deaths in 2014, without counting deaths from accidents or homicides related to alcohol use. This is more than the number of deaths from heroin and prescription opioid painkillers combined.

Alcohol is socially acceptable, even though it can be a gateway for other drug use. Just try and watch television this week without seeing a beer commercial. Recreational marijuana legislation being passed in more and more states heightens the potential for drug addiction even further by increasing its acceptability. Ithaca, New York is proposing a “haven” for heroin addicts to shoot up “safely.” How does one use an illegal narcotic safely (or legally)?

As a society, we appear to be heading in the wrong direction. I’ve heard more than one story from professionals in the criminal justice field and medical first responders that, after being revived by Narcan, the heroin user not only goes in search of another dose of heroin, but will curse out the person who administered the Narcan for ruining their high. I cannot help but feel that Narcan is like giving smelling salts to a drunk person who is passed out at the curb. We revive them so they can go drink again.

As a child, I was taught to offer to buy a panhandler a meal, not to hand out cash. Feed the person, not the addiction.

Better education about the evils of substance abuse may be more effective to halt these behaviors. Use of Narcan without any required change in behavior is ludicrous. To truly save the life, we must cure the addiction. Some sanction must be enacted; otherwise, we are spitting into the wind.

Bob Bodnar

West Lampeter Township

DMU Timestamp: February 07, 2020 23:04





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