Bob has seen just about everything as an EMT, sometimes several drug overdoses in one night. The most disturbing thing about these overdoses is that it’s often the same people overdosing, again and again– Bob has revived one guy three times already.
Bob’s beginning to question the effectiveness of naloxone. Is it the right thing to do? What’s the point of saving them with naloxone, only to have them overdose again? Is it a waste of resources? Am I even helping them?
Bob understands there is a shortage of treatment available. Treatment centers simply can’t keep up with the rampant addiction numbers.
Tom has overdosed multiple times. Naloxone saved his life each time. He is grateful for naloxone and its life saving benefits. He’s now sober, married, and has a healthy baby boy. He has a job and his life back.
Tom understands it would have been easy for everyone to give up on him. Reviving a person multiple times sounds crazy, right? “They’ll just OD again, right?” Tom needed that many times to actually make a life changing decision. Now, he’s living a successful life in recovery.
What’s the answer?
- Are we doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?
- Is it smart to continue naloxone even if we’re reviving the same people over and over again? Especially when we aren’t following up with treatment?
- Is it okay to increase our use of naloxone, if all we do is send people home to continue the pattern?
- What about stories like Tom’s? Are they too rare to make a difference? Should we limit the chances we give?
- Are we really helping anyone by treating naloxone as if it’s a solution?
If the pattern repeats, we need something more to change it. Clearly, something’s broken in this system. Don’t we need more than naloxone to truly give people another chance at life?
You tell us. What’s the answer?