As I sit here at my desk, hands folded on top of my head with my head tilted slightly back pondering the meaning of life and my existence here on this planet I had a thought. Like a real captain save-a-ho here comes Superman kind of thing. My soul whispered to me and said we should make Narcan available for free, everywhere.
(The biggest brand name is Narcan. The active ingredient is Naloxone. This drug quickly reverses an overdose by blocking the effects of opioids. It can restore normal breathing within 2 to 3 minutes in a person whose breathing has slowed or even stopped, as a result of an opioid overdose. More than one dose of naloxone may be required when stronger opioids like fentanyl are involved.)
I mean so much of it that your friend could be overdosing in the bathroom stall, just starting to turn blue and lifeless when you run out of the bathroom to the bar and grab two Naloxone nasal spray doses out of the Jar sitting by the cash register and run back to the men’s room and administer both to your dyeing friend, who thank God responds rapidly and well to the medication and
begins to start to breathe again as they slowly regain consciousness.
A plethora of it to the point that the black market deems it not suitable for resale simply because of its abundance on the street. I mean so much that your friend could be shooting up in your low-income studio apt that’s paid for by the state and start to have trouble breathing when you have a thought. You remember seeing some naloxone nasal doses on the ground next to the dumpster in the alley this morning when you were taking out the trash.
You run out the door of your apt and sprint down the hallway to the stairs, fling the stairwell door open, and run like your friend’s life depends on it down three flights of stairs to the door leading to the alley dumpster. You swing the door open and turn left as you trip on a passed-out wino laying on the ground and split your forehead open on the concrete. With blood gushing from the now 3-inch slice over your right eye, you notice the two Naloxone nasals on the ground next to the dumpster that you saw this morning.
Reaching down you grab both doses you see on the ground and head for the door. As you approach the passed-out wino you reach down and grab the red bandana off his forehead and secure it tightly around the gash over your right eye to hopefully stop the deluge of blood that is now streaming from it. With the blood flow slowing, you head back up the three flights of stairs and sprint down the long hallway to your apartment.
You swing your apartment door open and you rush to your friend slumped over on the couch, blue and lifeless. Administer both nasal doses and say a prayer as you realize you should probably call 911. As you hang up the phone and with help on the way you now administer CPR to your dying friend who unresponsive since the Narcan was given slowly begins to take a breath as you hear the paramedics pull up outside. With your friend now in the care of the paramedics, you sit down on your couch and weep as the stress from the event finally catches up with you in one big wave.
I think my soul might be on to something here. Did you know (*Updated September 7, 2022)
The nation’s drug overdose epidemic continues to change and become worse. The epidemic affects every
state and now is driven by illicit fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, methamphetamine, and cocaine, often in
combination or in adulterated forms. More than 107,000 deaths were reported in the United States
between December 2020 to December 2021. (source article, AMA brief dated 9-7-2022)
Things are better today than they used to be at least Naloxone is available to the general public and it is cost-free although not enough people are aware of this so the death count continues. But if we did it my soul’s way the stuff would be everywhere and I think that would make a huge impact on the overdose rate for the better.
You might ask who is going to pay for this? I’ll say how about the same part of the government that pays for the funerals of many of these addicts who had no one else in their life. At least this way they aren’t paying to put a young person’s body in the ground years too soon, and they might spend less money, save more lives, and increase the quality of life just a little for many who use opiates.
Of course, there will be major contributions from the public and private sectors which will help with the funding of a program like this. It seems to me, at least in thought, a pretty good idea this old soul of mine had. I think with the legalizing of drugs beyond marijuana and with drugs in general as easy to get as they have ever been that a program to do this is not only feasible, but could be implemented easily with a public awareness campaign and distribution everywhere that will take a case of it.
With 3 to 19 percent of all people who use an opioid pain medication becoming dependent on it I don’t foresee this problem getting better on its own. The only people that can take care of this problem is us. We have the collective power to raise enough noise that change will have no choice but to happen. We have done it before let’s do it again and save a generation. Why wait for another 100,000 to die when we could make the changes needed today! Love you all.
About The Author: Marc is a 53-year-old Author, Speaker, and Soldier in a war to loosen the grasp that Substance Abuse has on our society. He is a Father, Son, and friend to all those seeking refuge from this incorrigible disease. Marc resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he enjoys writing, hiking, and kicking the disease of addiction in the teeth every chance he gets. As Marc always likes to say, be blessed, my friends.