The drug epidemic is at an all time high right now, with heroin leading the way. It’s cheaper than all of the pills that were so popular just 10 years ago, and not hard to get your hands on, either. Whether the addict gets addicted from their first shot, or if they became addicted to one of the millions of narcotics so easily and readily handed out by doctors everywhere, it’s slowly taking over our communities.
Just a Little Too Close to Home
Face it, we all know someone who has been touched by this horrible drug problem we’re all facing. Whether you know the addict themselves, or friends or family members of an addict (or even more than one). We’re seeing lots of OD’s everywhere we look, and now we’ve added a “Get out of death free” answer by bringing Narcan (Naxolone HCI) onto the scene. That brings every addict that is OD’ing back. Okay, maybe not all of them, but the ones that are lucky enough to find them OD’ing in their cars on the road, in parking lots, sitting outside of stores, in their homes, wherever they’ve decided to shoot up. The Narcan can bring them back, just for them to OD again a few hours later, since for some reason, they’re not being charged with possession, or if they are, they’re basically given a ticket and a court date, and sent home to do it all over again.
Disease or Choice?
I get it, I understand that addiction is seen as a disease, but at the same time, with limited resources to be had from the addict himself (with spending all of his money, which is usually stolen, or gained by stealing from someone else, and pawning said stolen items), and family having the same issues with low funding, rehab can be too expensive for the average family. Then you deal with this being something that you have to do someday…
Is There a Way Out?
So, what then, can we do to get rid of this horrible drug, and finally get people off of it? I’m not exactly sure, as it’s one of the most addictive drugs out there right now. What I do know is, that as a parent, we must remain vigilant about watching for dirty needles left behind after the addicts are long gone. Parks, playgrounds, schools, grocery store parking lots, any parking lot…Nothing is off limits when it comes to where an addict is going to get high. They also could care less where they leave an empty needle because all of it’s contents are now nicely resting inside of their vein, and they’re passed out. As soon as they wake up, the only thought on their minds are where the next hit is coming from.
What I do know…
What I do know, is that we must figure something out. The first responders, cops, firemen, EMT’s, they’re overwhelmed at this point. Always being sent off to the next OD, sometimes all night long, leaving people who are suffering from real ailments waiting hours until the addict is finally at the hospital, to probably run off before the cops even get there if the Narcan kicks in fast enough. I’m not sure if the Narcan is a helper or a hindrance to the heroin problem, but I’m beginning to think that it’s hurting more than helping. I’m not insisting that it’s a good thing to lose people to their addictions, but at the same time, we can’t continue spending all of our tax money on Narcan, and wasting it on people who are just going to go home and do it again and again. It’s the opinion in my town that Narcan has been used as a way to find out just how close to death you can come and still be brought back to life. There was one person, not too long ago, who needed over 20 doses of the drug to be brought back, and I believe the same person OD’d again the next day! There was a weekend that there were 14 OD’s in one night here in Mansfield, with 8 of them happening in less than 30 minutes. Word was that there was a bad batch of heroin being sold in that part of town, and those that were overdosing, were the buyers.
With all of the news focusing on heroin users and overdoses, you’d think that new users wouldn’t come about, but for some reason, there are new users every day. I’m ready to start a riot and scream STOP THE INSANITY! STOP WITH THE NEEDLES! but they don’t listen. They just keep shooting up. Maybe you think I’m callous and mean, maybe I am, but at the end of the day, saving lives is more important than being kind. Making folks wake up and see that they’ve left their families in shambles, and most likely they have children waiting for them to get their stuff together. I don’t feel bad for being mean, I feel like that’s what is needed. Mollycoddling has been the norm for long enough. Knock it off. Put down the pipe. Throw the needles away. Get it out of your system. Choose your family over the drugs!
Do you have family or friends who are addicts? If so, what are your thoughts on all of this?