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Tagged: stigma, Young Adult, Training, Ally, Addiction, prevention, opioid, narcan, blogger, discussion, prevent stigma, Naloxone, video, ya, addiction prevention, overdose, overdose prevention, opiate, opioid overdose, over, dose, over dose, od, drug, heroin, narcan training, reverse overdose, life saving, life saving device
Hey everyone! So recently I have been to a couple of community Naloxone (Narcan) trainings and learned so much! I wanted to share the info with you guys so although I’m not an official trainer on Narcan administration, I thought it would still be a good idea to show you guys what I learned, just in case!
FYI: Naloxone aka Narcan is an opioid antagonist used for the complete or partial reversal of opioid overdose. AKA it’s a life-saving device for someone who has overdosed!
I made a video for you guys to watch that you can watch here (& other shared videos): http://turningpointct.org/category/media/videos/
I would love to hear your thoughts on Narcan and if any of you have ever gotten trained or heard of it, I’d love to hear about it.
Also, I wanna know what you guys think about this & how you would have responded:
When I have done advocating for Narcan to be more accessible, I’ve had people say these things to me (more common than you’d imagine):
1. “Why give narcan to someone who’s just going to keep using?”
2. “Why should narcan be free, but epi-pens are not?”
3. “They’re addicts, they should learn their lesson for overdosing.”
4. “Why bring someone back to life if they might just overdose again?”
5. “Wouldn’t Narcan just enable someone to overdose?”
The basic theme I’ve noticed from these questions is not only the lack of compassion for another human being, but the stigma that consumes people with substance use disorders. I feel as if these questions can have a basic overall answer of “they are human, they have a life, they matter.”
What disgusts me the most is that I’ve heard from some of my First Responder friends, that they’ve heard these very same questions and comments come out of the mouths of their co-workers or other FR’s in the field.
What people don’t remember is that just because someone is addicted to substances DOES NOT mean their life isn’t valuable. People are blind to the family members and other loved ones that adore that person. Who are you to play God on whether a life should be saved or not?
GRR.. I could vent for days about this. It’s difficult to keep my composure when I hear these questions and comments, after making myself so vulnerable, after pouring my heart out to a crowd about how I’m in recovery from an opioid use disorder. But then, I remember that they will never have a change of heart or perspective if I get angry or hostile (or throw judgement right back at them). Instead, I take a VERY DEEP BREATH, picture my loved ones that have passed from an overdose, and calmly explain to someone how important an addict’s life is. It’s a life. Just as mine was when I was sick. If I had overdosed, but standing here in recovery, would you have said the same thing? If you met my mother, would you be able to say these things to her? I hope not.
So I guess education with compassion can go a long way.
I also would like to repeat something that I once heard:
Narcan is like a fire extinguisher, you have it in case of emergencies. You hope and pray that you will never have to use it. However, if that time comes where you need to use it, you will. You won’t hesitate. Narcan is like that fire extinguisher. You wouldn’t start a fire just because there is an extinguisher, right?
I thought that was amazing when I first heard it. It made so much sense and completely shut down the question, “wouldn’t narcan enable someone to overdose?”
Anyways, check out the video, let me know what you think and respond to what I wrote above.. would love to hear your thoughts!
If you’d like to upload your own video, click here.
Check out more of my vent sessions & walk of recovery: http://turningpointct.org/lets-talk/forum/addiction/
For more information on Naloxone (Narcan), trainings, pharmacies, and more, please visit: http://www.ct.gov/dmhas/cwp/view.asp?a=2902&q=560348
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TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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