From the Front Line

Narcan – yay or nay!

Hello everyone. Its been a while since my last post, and while I actually have in the wings a light hearted post – This occurred today and I feel it needs addressing. In addition, its a very controversial topic and if there are any other first responders I would love to hear from you.

Unless you live totally off the grid – everyone has heard some talk of the “Opioid Epidemic” that plagues our society. I deal with it on a daily basis. There is a big push to teach the parents and caregivers of addicts to administer Narcan. Its given out for free. For those of you unfamiliar, its a drug that immediately counteracts the effects of Heroin and other Opioids. In my opinion, it gives the addict a false sense of security and no incentive to quit and get help. It leads to more overdoses in the long run. Its not a viable solution.

Early this morning we went on a call for a “possible overdose” with a 25 yr old male. This male is a “frequent flyer” and comes from a family of “users.” He has a 4 yr old daughter whose mother died on Halloween from a heroin overdose. His mom and uncle were home with him and called 911 when they found him.

He was issued Narcan and we transported him to the hospital. This occurred around 2 am. His family allegedly gave “all his drugs” to the police. He was discharged at 11 am.

By 11:29 he was, for all intents and purposes, dead from an overdose! On the floor, surrounded by dirty needles.

Thanks to the close proximity of first responders and the 60 mgs of Narcan (thats a WHOLE LOT) his “down time” was minimal and interventions were performed. He was “down and dead” for about 55 minutes. It took A LOT of resources and the grace of God for us to get pulse back.

He went from a fairly good looking 25 yr old to being stripped naked with strangers breaking ribs doing CPR (yes that happens – to everyone) with tubes down his throat, IV in his arms, someone breathing for him with a BVM and someone taking a rectal temperature, with people staring and nurses and doctors all communicating at the same time what drugs were given and the times, everyone holding their breath and praying silently, with a few shocked nurses realizing that he had literally just left the hospital under his own power less than an hour ago. Now here he is, in the process of being “iced down” to try and stave off as much brain damage as we can, before he gets transferred to another facility. Its not a pretty picture and I’m not sugar coating it.

In the midst of this, in comes mom and uncle. All hysterical and wavering between relief that he was alive, and fear of the outcome since his brain function is unknown at this point. Do I feel sorry for her, or even him? Not one iota! Instead of getting him help, and getting help themselves so this kid doesn’t live in a drug riddled environment, they depend on the free Narcan and the first responders to ride in and clean up the mess they helped make!

Mom was demanding that the police go through his phone and arrest the people who gave him drugs!

First of all, you cannot get in trouble if you call 911 for help with any kind of drug related incident, but she needs to point the finger outward. I’ve heard all the arguments about how its a “disease” and “they can’t help themselves” and I call BS!

At what point do we stop handing out Narcan? At what point do we hold these people responsible for their own actions? When do we address the issues, and come up with real solutions instead of just throwing a “band aid” on it.

5 replies »

  1. I agree it’s not a disease. It’s a lifestyle choice. The question becomes at what cost to society? How much brain damage? The social implications are far and wide, and there are no easy answers. Beating each other with allegations that it is or is not a disease is flat out counterproductive.


    • Where does all of this leave us who suffer with acute pain? We have nothing at all but suicide or to be called “drug addicts”. I served this Country for a total of 29 years & was injured 4 times in Vietnam.
      When I was young I could shake off the pain, until a car crash in 97. 21 yrs later Im in more pain now w nothing for treatment
      If the pain wasnt overwhelming I wouldnt want nor need narcotics or benzos for extensive cervical & spinal injuries. Yet the VA & regular hospitals refuse to treat 100 million Americans with life crippling injuries & diseases.
      So, many of you who are today healthy will drive to work, Church, fall down concrete steps, or off ladders, fall at home (The list is endless) & you will be met with a shocking reception from you ER to your family Doctor. Oh a broken leg can heal, but God help you if that leg is rolled up with open fractures requiring many surgeries, with Tylenol given for pain.
      This insanity needs to end!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Not a “Lifestyle choice” Addiction is a disease. Not a “lifestyle choice anymore than Lung cancer for smokers is a lifestyle choice, or Diabetes for people who are obese and love ice cream too much is a “lifestyle choice.” All are due to addiction. Stop the Stigma.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s