After Naloxone – What’s Next for Opiate Addicts?

helping someone who is addicted to drugs

One after another, police departments and emergency responders are being equipped with naloxone devices. If you haven’t heard of these yet, they are devices that provide a pre-set amount of the drug naloxone. This drug will quickly reverse the effects of an opiate overdose. It has the potential to save the lives of many people who would not make it to the hospital to be revived.

Opiates work by slowing down the breathing. When breathing slows down enough, a person dies. When naloxone is administered, it directly counteracts the effects of the opiate and an overdoser often perks up in just a minute or two. From almost-dead to sitting up and asking what happened—that’s a miraculous recovery.

But then what happens? There sits the drug abuser amid police, fire department or emergency medical technicians. That individual needs to get sober so he (or she) stops risking his life but there is no way to force that person to accept this idea.

The family has probably been trying to get this person to rehab for years by the time this overdose happens. It may not even be the first time the person has been dragged back from death’s door. If you’ve ever been the family member of someone struggling with an addiction to a drug that can kill them, then you know the feeling. You don’t want to hear the phone ring in the middle of the night. You don’t want to hear that he’s in the hospital again. And in your heart, unless you’ve been an addict yourself, you can’t understand why he can’t just stop putting these drugs in his body.

This is definitely the time for an intervention.

There may be a small window here where the addicted person truly sees the danger he is in every time he consumes more opiates. By finding an experienced interventionist and having a proven rehab program chosen, this can be the moment a family has been waiting for – the day their loved one walks into a rehab to get help.

But very often, families don’t know how much an interventionist can help or they don’t know where to find one. So this resolution never comes. Interventionists are unsung heroes who walk into a situation that is always difficult and is sometimes outright dangerous. Using their experience and their wits, they dig deep to find the real person buried under the drug abuse and reach out a hand to that person – the person who really wants to be sober, who wants to live, who wants his family and his life back.

Many Narconon centers across the United States and in other countries have relationships with interventionists. Addiction is such a perilous condition that some people will never get the chance to reach out for help – they overdose or have a fatal accident first. So to get them into rehab, Narconon centers use interventionists to help those who have not yet accepted the idea of rehab.

We’re not the only rehab organization that states that there are three outcomes to addiction – sobriety, prison or death. If you’re trying to get someone to choose sobriety and life, and you’re having trouble getting through to your loved one, call us for help. We can connect you with an interventionist who might be just the person to turn that situation around.


Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.