Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a drug that blocks the effects of opioids like Heroin, Morphine, OxyContin and Percocet and reverses an overdose. Narcan saves lives, so it has been used for decades by emergency workers and has recently been made available without a prescription in many states. Keeping Narcan from being more available is keeping more people from getting treatment.
Everyone Deserves a Second Chance
The main objection some have about making Narcan available to the public is that they believe it condones drug use. Maine Governor, Paul LePage, recently vetoed a bill that would allow pharmacists to dispense Narcan without a prescription. In defending his decision, he stated, “Naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose.”
However, the governor forgets that Narcan saves lives, literally. The governor’s position on this does nothing to help people. He’s basically saying we should let opioid abusers die because they’re too far gone to save. This uninformed point of view perpetuates the stigma that addicts are weak, immoral and dregs on society.
Letting opioid users die won’t help anything, but keeping them alive gives them a chance at recovery.
Narcan Saves Lives and Promotes Finding Treatment
In 2014, over 28,000 people died from opioid overdoses, more than any other year on record, accounting for over 60 percent of all overdose deaths in the US. Our country is facing a major public health epidemic from opioid addiction and the faster we can collectively take a different stance on the issue, the faster we can get these people the help they need. Saving drug users from certain death doesn’t perpetuate addiction, marginalizing them and making them feel too ashamed to ask for help does. Narcan is a means of harm reduction and helps addicts survive an overdose, allowing them to live another day when addiction treatment could be possible, giving them a chance to get clean.
Creating a Positive Impact
In 2014, legislation was passed in California that allowed pharmacists the freedom to dispense Narcan without a prescription. As of this writing, 16 other states have passed said legislation and roughly 30 states provide Narcan as part of community-based overdose prevention programs. Although California data isn’t readily available, nationally, the implementation of these overdose prevention programs has resulted in over 10,000 overdose reversals.
At Morningside Recovery, we specialize in treating patients suffering from opioid addiction and offer various 12 step recovery-based and non-traditional treatment options. If you or a loved one are suffering from opioid addiction and need opiate addiction treatment, please don’t hesitate to call. You can reach us anytime at 855-631-2135. We are available 24/7 to answer any questions and will help you find the right treatment option for you.