Last week I speculated that despite increased access to Narcan, the opiate epidemic would continue to rage with deaths in 2016 exceeding those of 2015.
Sadly, this was borne out in just released data from the state medical examiner. Through the first six months of 2016, 444 people died of fatal overdoses in CT, which projects to at least 888. 729 died in 2015.
A story in the Hartford Courant lays much of the blame on Fentanyl , which was involved in 25.8% on the deaths in 2015, and already in 50.2% on those in 2016.
Fueled By Fentanyl Spike, Overdose Deaths Continue To Climb In Connecticut
How powerful is a drug that you know can kill you easily, and yet you still take it — often alone with no one to watch over you?
It isn’t a slow death like that one inflicted by cigarettes or gluttony. Most of us have encountered the dead with the needle still in their vein.
Too many people giving Narcan to EMTs and to family members was a drastic step, unheard of a few years ago. Maybe we need to think even bolder.
Maybe we should as some other countries do and have safe havens where junkies can go for their daily fix and be observed by medical personnel with Narcan at hand. They can get access to people who will try to convince them to get treatment.
William Proxmire, a former United States Senator, who was a big advocate to eliminate wasteful spending, used to say, ” a million dollars here, a million dollars there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money.”
To paraphrase for the opiate epidemic. “A hundred opiate deaths here and a hundred opiate deaths there, and pretty soon you are talking about a massacre.”
Here is an interesting article on heroin safe havens.
Boston’s Safe Space for Heroin Users
“It’s not that we don’t want people to be drug free. But dead people don’t recover.” – Barbara Herbert, the president of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine