I have read the news about a proposal in Middletown, Ohio that the third time a person needs to be revived from an overdose medical services will not be provided. This means the person is all likelihood would die. The reason giving is the financial aspect of the cost of Narcan.
I was furious when I read about it. We don’t treat heart attacks the same way, if a person doesn’t follow doctor’s orders and has multiple heart attacks services are provided as they should be.
Chanda recorded a video last night that responds to this proposal in the best way. She provides rational and objective reasoning that brings clarity to the problem. She also offers solutions that I completely agree with.
We need to have real solutions, warm hand-offs after an overdose.
Chanda, then wrote a letter and said it was okay to share. Below is her message to the councilman. I encourage you to please use her example and also write to this councilman.
My name is Chanda Lynn and I am a recovering addict of 2 1/2 years. This email is in no way to demonize you, but rather to offer suggestions for Middletown that would work for your city. I understand the stress and the pressure of all of the overdoses occurring not only in your city, but across the country. It’s a financial issue and I understand the frustration.
I looked into your 3 strike proposal and I researched objectively. But I would like to impart some of my own knowledge to you. Addiction effects the prefrontal cortex in a persons brain. Given any measure of time, this part of the brain becomes damaged. The prefrontal cortex is largely responsible for rationalizing consequence and reward. If not functioning properly, the person cannot rationalize the consequence or reward of their decision. In the case of addiction- this is evident from the get-go. A person risks their life every time they use, so it’s rather apparent that they are not in their “right mind”.
Your proposal would fail because of this. The war on drugs is a good example as to why we cannot punish addicts out of their addictions.
This is what we can do:
Many addicts overdose over and over again because there is not proper intervention in the hospital while being stabilized. Consequently, after only a couple hours, the addict or person, is released right back on to the streets in full blown horrendous withdrawals- due to the opioid blocking power of the narcan. They are desperate to escape the painful and ravishing throes of withdrawals and usually use again, some overdose in the same day even.
Without the proper intervention we can change nothing. We cannot arrest a society out of its addictions, but we can properly educate ourselves in order to handle it properly.
Perhaps you may be able to implement an intervention program in your area.
Narcan is not the problem, the way we handle people after overdose is.
Narcan has given many that 2nd, 3rd and 4th chance, in order to be able to find recovery and thrive.
We should never suggest death as a solution.
Again, I understand your frustration, but better things can be done.
If I can help in any way, or you need more solutions, I have many!
The video I created for you, is on my page- Chanda Lynn Poetry Of An Addict
I hope you can come to a compassionate resolve.