The August 21st New York Times had the following article about naloxone, a drug that can help save the lives of those who overdose on drugs. The title of the piece was, An Effort to Expand Access to a Drug That Could Save Victims of Overdoses. The complete article can be found here: http://nyti.ms/179vyXm Please give it your attention. Then consider the reaction my wife, Margot, and I had. We wrote a Letter to the Editor in response to the article. Unfortunately, it did not get published in the Times. Nonetheless, here is what we wrote.
“Our son, William, was a heroin addict who was saved on a number of occasions by the swift work of emergency responders in Manhattan using naloxone. Unfortunately, an accidental overdose at home led to a six-week hospitalization before he eventually succumbed to a vegetative state. Had we, his family, had appropriate training in the administration of naloxone, with the drug available in our home, he might still be alive today. We’ll never know. Paul A. Werfel worries about addicts becoming combative after being administered naloxone. A combative addict beats a dead addict in our book every time. It’s time for those who live with and deal with addiction on a daily basis to be combative about the lifesaving potential of the drug. Combative enough to speed up the pace of public health protection against the plague of addiction.”