The U.S. Surgeon General, Jerome Adams (coincidentally from Indiana), is recommending that Americans carry Narcan in the event of encountering an opioid-related overdose to reverse the affects of the opiates. It is sad when the Surgeon General needs to recommend to Americans, (the general population) to carry Narcan. Police and Fireman already carry it. However, if my child were addicted to opiates, I would carry one too.
Since the demand for Narcan (Naloxone) has increased, so too has the price. A Naloxone-filled syringe used to be $6.00 each, but now could cost from $30.00 and up. The 2-pack of automatic Naloxone injectors runs more than $3,700!
While I am grateful that we can save the lives of those who have overdosed on opioids, we need to address the underlying problem and not just the symptoms.
There is a lot of funding going into this. Congress has approved $6,000,000,000 in funding to respond to the opioid epidemic. I’m not sure what the initiatives are, but my concern is placing people on methadone or Suboxone is just a bandaid. We need to get at the underlying reason for the addiction in the first place. If it is a mental health issue, that needs to be addressed. For example, if someone is suffering from depression causing them to use opiates to feel better, the depression needs to be treated. Also, the addiction itself needs to be addressed with tools on how to cope with the disease.
I would like to see the change begin with medical care. Physicians prescribe so many narcotics and continue to refill these. I see many nurses who get addicted to opioids after having some type of surgery, treatment for chronic pain or even dental procedures.
I want to see measures taken to improve the health of our country by creating wellness initiatives rather than symptomatic care.
What are your thoughts? Let me know by adding your comments below.
Rene L Crawford says
My son is now 32 yo. He started experimenting with drugs at the age of 12 when my stepbrother gave him some marijuana. The use escalated quickly. I was so naive back then and was in a different professional field. I w orker long h ours. I drank some but was oblivious to addiction in general.
Sure I caught my son a few times. I took the appropriate steps. I grounded him for a month, which hurt me more than him. Some tragic events occurred that changed my life’s direction toward helping others and I went back to nursing school. Honestly, things got much worse. Working full-time and going for a second Bachelors full-time left NO TIME for anything or anyone else. My son became addicted to EVERYTHING especially opiods! I saw the behavior change but I was powerless at that point. I had lost my son mentally at the age of 17.
My son was now emotionally swinging from manic to deep depression. I took him to counselors but he wouldn’t speak. I had him hospitalized but unless I had alot of money for addiction treatment they let him go in three days. I stopped drinking all together. No drugs. No partying. Sober. I started leading by EXAMPLE.
My family paid for treatment 3 times as a Godsend 3 times, though, he failed to stay sober even 1 day after the 30days he was there.
Flash forward to 31yo. He was assaulted and left for dead on the asphault by his drug “buddies”. He was in severe Rhabdomylosis for days. His organs were shutting down and he blamed the assault not the fact his using put himself there. I watched him dying in the hospital. I pictured him in a casket and planned his funeral. I accepted he would likely die from opiods. He finally got a little better after a week. Barely enough better to get discharged but he was enough kidney failure and disabled enough to no longer be able to walk or urinate well. My family drove him to an out of city rehab 2 hours away with no transport and left him there. He had no car, no money, no possessions, nothing and we wouldn’t talk to him. He did , after all, try to kill my son. How dare he! He did make it through rehab. Presently, he is living at a sober living facility. The mental illness of addiction, the manipulative, conniving, element is still alive and well. He has tried to manipulate all of us. I seldom communicate with him. He knows that is why. I love him dearly. I think of the Solomon story from the bible. If I have to let my baby go, no longer have contact, no longer enable him so that my son can survive… would I be willing to do that? Most would say YES. Most would not though. I KNOW THAT despite my good intentions, in my hands my son will DIE! It is the codependent relationship we have together. I know now it is better to let my son go elsewhere in the world with a chance of hope and freedom from the addiction he found in this city! So I set him, and MYSELF free! I didnt learn this myself. I went to counseling and I attending OPEN AA, NA and ALANON meetings so i could learn all i could. They were my saviors! There is HOPE! My peace starts with ME and not with fixing HIM! I DO AGREE with carrying narcan pens…that always gives hope