NOTICE: What is a life worth? | Notice

When you think about looking at drug addiction as a medical problem, the question of morality comes out of the equation – of course, you would be helping someone die. But why not someone who dies of an overdose?

The Jones County Sheriff’s Department made its third Narcan stop two weeks ago in just two months.

Narcan is a brand of Naloxone, an opioid antagonist that reverses the effects of overdose. A life was saved to live another day – which no one is promised. There is only one thing in life that is promised and cursed to us: knowing that we will die one day. But what is the use of weighing the life of an addict as less than his own?

I have seen literature and social media posts on how there should be a limit to how many times law enforcement should intervene in overdose reversals or emergency rooms cannot. should not relaunch these overdoses because they “did it themselves”. I have only one question for these people: How many times has someone given you a second chance at life? Or a third party? Or 5,000?

Consider the morality of duty. Consider what we owe each other. The golden rule is to treat others as you would like to be treated. If you were sick, wouldn’t you want help or treatment?

When you think about looking at drug addiction as a medical problem, the question of morality comes out of the equation – of course, you would be helping someone die. But why not someone who dies of an overdose?

Substance use disorders are on the rise in the United States, although efforts to crush the disease of addiction have saved lives, such as the use of Narcan. The state of Mississippi tackled this problem aggressively in 2015, when former Gov. Phil Bryant created an Opioid Task Force made up of doctors, health care providers, and addiction specialists to make recommendations on laws, best practices in healthcare facilities and the state-led prescription monitoring program to address the growing number of overdoses. New laws are reviewed and updated each year to help people with substance use disorders.

The government has found a new way to “fight” drug addiction by looking at it from a different perspective. Instead of claiming that the problem was moral, he viewed the problem as a medical problem. In doing so, the programs provided by the State of Mississippi have saved lives.

Narcan is now available in pharmacies without a prescription thanks to this legislation. The Good Samaritan Law also came into effect in 2015, allowing a friend or someone with an overdose to call emergency services without fear of legal reprisal, depending on certain parameters. This alleviates the fear of going to the hospital for treatment of patients with substance use disorders.

Now, thanks to this legislation, Narcan is free for law enforcement agencies that choose to wear it, and they are receiving it through a grant from the Mississippi Department of Mental Health. Law enforcement officials also receive training to administer Narcan at no cost to the ministry.

You’ve read our stories of those who went through the Jones County drug court program. Many have become successful people – a nurse, a paramedic, an electrician. By removing addiction from the equation with the right help, treatment and resources, these people were able to find meaningful lives.

In Jones County, EMS deployed Narcan more than 57 times between early 2017 and early 2020. Many other healthcare professionals and law enforcement officials have likely used more. Every day someone’s life is saved thanks to Narcan.

While Narcan is not a cure, it is a way to give someone a second chance to ask for help. Substance use disorders are not discriminatory. Drug addiction is not discriminatory. Anyone can lose their life or a loved one due to addiction. Narcan can provide this second chance for individuals to eventually seek appropriate treatment to save their lives.

Addiction is a symptom of a larger problem within an individual, but it is not a problem of moral failure. It’s very frustrating and makes you feel like you want to let go of your loved ones, but that doesn’t make those who struggle with it a bad person. No one is above redemption, and I assure you that everyone has needed some form of forgiveness.

Drug addiction is a complicated illness that affects not only the person with a substance use disorder, but their entire social network. It takes the love and support of a network to help break the addiction. For anyone suffering from a substance use disorder, I implore you to seek help.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), is a confidential, free, 24 hour a day, 365 days a year information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members with mental health problems and / or drug addiction. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups and community organizations.


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