Most of the time, when someone overdoses on drugs, they are taken to a hospital which treats the overdose. Of course, this is what happens when the addict is around someone who can call 911. But what happens when the patient recovers from the overdose?
When I first saw the tagline, “Facing an overdose epidemic, some ERs now offer addiction treatment” on the Washington Post’ s front page, I was pleasantly surprised. ERs offering addiction treatment services? This was good news! Then I opened the article and started reading it.
Sometimes, we can put a human face on an individual opioid overdose. Sometimes we can trace the person’s path into addiction and the loss of life. One such story reveals why it’s wrong to condemn or label a person who becomes addicted.
This a vitally important question to ask. Just talk to any parent who has lost a child to an overdose. A recent report from the CDC indicates that as yet, we are seeing more wreckage resulting from drug addiction, not less, meaning we have much more work to do.
It’s not difficult to pick up on the controversy swirling around the use of the opioid antidote naloxone. Some people see value in saving the lives of those who overdose. Others think that these people who seem to be trying so hard to die should be left to their fates. It’s a difficult question that deserves examination.