This is not going to go over well with some close friends of mine but here goes. There has been a long standing push to get narcan in the hands of every possible first responder as a way to “combat” the scourge of opiate overdose that is running rampant. When this first started here in Frederick County, Maryland ambulance crews and paramedics have it onboard and I have no problem with them having it as they are properly medically trained. That quickly became not quick enough as it was then pushed that people are still dying…we need to get them into the hands of the sheriff’s office and any other LEO’s that can “usually respond before the EMT’s do”. I argued against this for a variety of reasons.
- Leo’s are NOT medically trained. They are given a crash course in symptom recognition and administration. There are other protocols yes but the fact of the matter is if they administer narcan and there is an adverse reaction they have just put the life of that person in even more danger.
- EMT’s ARE medically trained and even then they have protocols to follow that include consultation with personnel on the scene AND the inbound paramedic before a dose is given.
I also argued against non medical personnel carrying these things for another reason. It WILL remove the fear of dying from a CHOICE you make to take a powerful drug for non medical reasons. I am not concerned about the illegality that is another issues separate from this one. I was told I was wrong, heartless, narrow minded, and called bigoted. I decided to not fight anymore and let things play out. Sure enough it took a couple of years but now it has begun. I shall elaborate.
I was getting maintenance done on my vehicle when I saw somebody I have watched grow up over the years. He didn’t look as good as he normally did but what set me off was the obvious heavy drug use of his passenger. My stare must have been noticed because I was then told a story about this person’s long history of drug abuse. However this person stayed on “the lighter stuff” to stay away from the consequences of the heavy stuff. As of this day, that pattern had recently changed.. The young person recently went to South Baltimore with some “friends” to get some heroin and have some fun. Everyone did their doses but the young man went right into OD. His friends responded by literally dumping out of the vehicle and basically leaving him for dead. A passerby called 911 and a LEO arrived first and gave him narcan which saved his life.
You may think that’s a good thing…actually it isn’t. The ensuing conversation revealed the disturbing truth. The young man intends to go back and do more heroin. Why? He now knows(as do many many others) that they can safely OD as long as they are in high visibility areas and the first thing they get is narcan…they get all the benefits of the high and no real other issues. When asked why would he do this he replied, “with narcan everywhere overdosing isn’t that big a deal”. When I heard that all I could do is shake my head. Opioid dependency is the product of two things. Our bad economy and the lack of fear of death due to OD. The war on drugs and the “humanitarian” responses are going to cause this epidemic to explode even IF the economy turns around. May God have mercy on our populations.