I received this fantastic comment on one of my posts about Narcan, and it was too good not to give it a post of its own and the attention it deserves.
Are you sure it (Narcan) only lasts 30 minutes? I feel like it is longer. Unfortunately, I was one of those junkies at one point. Hated to admit my life took that path. However, I got Narcaned twice by paramedics. The effects weren’t pleasant, but not terrible. I’d throw up once and be fine and on my way. Oddly, I got CPR both times, which I am sure was unnecessary. The sternal bruising and pain lasted for days. Then, you’d think that would be enough to stop my stupid ass from doing it again, but….. nope. Fast forward to a couple years later after relapse: I kept Narcan on me and never used alone. My friend always gave me the Narcan (first the nasal with the cone, then the EVIZIO IM injectors, then the vials with the syringes, and then the nasal push-ups). I always woke up and felt like a MACK truck had ran me over a few times. Of course I felt EXTREME cold like my body had died and been kept in a morgue sitting there while the fluids pooled. My skin was cold and clamy to the touch. I had severe shivers. Then came the severe vomiting mixed with sniffles and yawning (all at once). The vomiting was so severe that it felt like my mouth would rip open from the force, blood vessels bursting in my eyes as tears rolled down because of the extreme force. It was intense. I felt like if I didn’t die from the drugs then the side effects of the Narcan would surely kill me. It lasted for an hour. Felt like several hours due to the suffering, but it was only one hour. Makes me wonder what else is in Narcan aside from naloxone that could make someone so cold like that. It’s an extreme cold that BURNS. Like liquid nitrogen (dry ice) coursing through the body. However, I never knew that pulmonary edema could occur. When I thought things couldn’t get worse than what I dealt with, you proved me wrong. I wished I could have been an example during those suffering moments to be on display for high school kids who thought about ever trying drugs. I knew it would be enough to scare them. I was in pain because I was prescribed pain meds already and had used heroin with it, the Narcan took the pain meds that I needed out of my system so I was wallowing/withering all over from extreme pain. I thought about it and figured it would be enough to TERRIFY anyone who hadn’t used drugs to never start or even anyone who had just started using, to stop. I am glad I no longer participate in such idiotic and insane pass time antics. I now lead a better life with college degrees under my belt (one of those being a bachelors degree for an RN license with the desire to work In the ER). However, I don’t entirely regret it because I can now say I have been on both ends of the spectrum. I do know quite a few people who died though because they were too scared to get help out of fear from being judged. Which is sad. That is just an indicator that the medical field still has some things to work on in that area and should do better on not passing judgement to allow comfort and help to ensue. It’s the fine line for someone to go from being in misery while living In hell to getting help to live a better life and become a productive member in society, especially if they have a way to payback and help others like them (or in general) to feel a purpose. I also talked people into going to the hospital for other medical issues to be dealt with and they were judged in the hospital and treated horrible by nurses only for those people to never set foot in medical settings again and being TERRIFIED of any medical interactions at all as a result of the horrible judgemental nurses. On one of my OD trips, I saw the nurses laughing at me. I was crying and hating my life sitting there alone with bruised ribs and a ripped shirt all alone and asking for a basin only to never get one and end up puking on the floor to clean up my own vomit with the ripped shirt on my hands and knees since I couldn’t get help: as the 2 nurses stood by deliberately laughing at me and whispering. Of course, I reported them and told the message to be relayed to them that I may be their coworker one day and if I ever see them do that to a person again, I will make their lives a living hell. I actually got in touch with the main ER doctor who started a program for addicts to get them help and to help reduce rates of overdoses. It was the doctor those nurses worked under. When I told her, she looked into it and said she would personally watch those nurses. Goes to show, treat people in-compassionately: it can backfire. I think the medical industry needs to step up on reducing those numbers like that ER doctor did and healthcare workers shouldn’t pass judgement because some doctors are the reasons that people get into positions like that.
Whether it is those with substance use disorder or COVID-19, how we treat our fellow Americans is a measure of our greatness as a country. We should stand together always.
Best of luck to this poster and thank you for sharing your story.