Narcan… A Couple FACTS

We have all seen the posts on social media about Narcan.

I’m gonna start by saying I’m sorry if you have dealt with a terminal illness that was not brought on by bad decision making. I’m sorry that healthcare is so expensive. I’m sorry that it can be frustrating to see people not working and getting services for free when you bust your ass and have shutoff notices and no food in your fridge.

I’m sorry that it is easier to look at drug addiction as a moral disease because it protects us “good Christian people” from worrying that it will touch our lives in any way.

I’m also sorry that it is so easy to look online and believe something we read just because a bunch of people post it.

Fact: Narcan is not free.

It is a prescription drug that is not expensive and is covered by most insurances. There are different types of Narcan. The people who complain about it being cheaper than an epi pen should learn that the company of the Epi pen (Kaleo’) also has their brand of narcan called Evzio and it costs thousands of dollars. It’s not the drug, it’s the brand. Also, alot of local organizations get grants for Narcan and give it away for free. There are other organizations that pay for other medical expenses for diseases like cancer and diabetes. People donate money to causes near and dear to their heart. We should have the right to do so.

Fact: Addiction is a disease.

It doesn’t discriminate either. It can affect anyone. No one asked to be an addict. People don’t start by picking up heroin. Many people get addicted by taking their legitimate pain medication as prescribed by their doctor. So please stop judging as you smoke your cigarettes, drink your beer, tan, text while drive, gossip, overeat or be on social media all day. We all make bad decisions. Quit trying to feel better about yourself by tearing others down. We are all God’s children.

The thing about Narcan is it saves lives. Not just addict’s lives, either.

It saves your elderly grandma who accidentally forgot she took her pain medication earlier in the day. It saves your kid who managed to open your childproof container of pain medication from your shoulder surgery and eats it.

It’s not just about addict lives.

It’s about lives.

But speaking about addict lives, here’s what I know. I love addicts. Some of the most loving, kind people I have ever met are addicts. Some of the most inspirational people I know are addicts. An addict in recovery admits they have a major problem in their life. Can you do that? I don’t know many who can be honest about little mistakes in their life, let alone to admit major failures… That’s impressive. An addict who has found rock bottom and found their way into recovery is a hero. They not only have to deal with the physical and emotional torment of addiction, but they have to deal with the horrible stigma that comes along with addiction from most people in society. I work specifically with opiate addicts and what does one look like? They look like me and you and your grandma and your best friend. You know them and you don’t even know because they suffer in silence. It’s stupid posts like these ones that make them so ashamed to be associated with their disease that they end up dying in silence instead of ever getting help.

I have lost 22 people in 2.5 years…Some of the best people I’ve ever met. I’d do anything to have them still here.

I also know probably a hundred people that were “hopeless dope fiends” that turned their lives around and became amazing people because they found recovery. A lot of them overdosed multiple times and had narcan before they found their recovery. Recovery is possible and I’m so glad we have narcan to give people the opportunity to find it. Narcan is not enabling the addiction. Narcan is not making people think it’s ok to use. Narcan is giving them another shot to change their life around and we all deserve that.

I am so sorry that people have to deal with the expenses of their diseases. It is unfair.

I also know how unfair it is to see a human life end too soon because an affordable antidote wasn’t available to save their life. I know how unfair it is to experience the emotions of losing someone you love. I know how unfair it is for the people who were saved and had their lives changed to feel too ashamed to speak out about it because of the stigma.

Because of these things, I will always fight for Narcan access and availability. Instead of hating on Narcan and addiction, pray for the addict and be thankful that there’s an opportunity to allow someone to get help. Take all your negative energy and spend that effort into creating change for whatever you are passionate about. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

Let’s just try to make the world a better place.

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