Opioid abuse: Now a huge topic in Massachusetts and nationally. Here are a few new and notable links on how it is playing out:
Politics: From the Globe: There is a drumbeat growing in both parties that could move the highly personal, painful matter of heroin and opioid drug addiction, which has metastasized into an epidemic, higher on the national agenda than at any time since the rampant crack crisis more than two decades ago.
Doctors: The Massachusetts Medical Society weighed in: Bold Steps to End the Opioid Epidemic – The Physician Contribution to the Solution. Here’s a Globe story on the move.
Narcan: From BHN: An 2010 audio story on Narcan. Note that in Cambridge, which was part of the state’s early Narcan Program, 37 people died from overdoses in between 2003 and 2007. Between 2008 and 2012, that number dropped to 13. Many other communities are seeing increases.
Policy: From a recent forum at Harvard SPH: Michael Botticelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy at the White House; Monica Bharel, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and other experts discuss “the role of policymaking in addressing this crisis.”
More Narcan: From WBUR and Commonhealth: A report from an April community meeting and a post entitled The Lazarus Effect: A health work a The Dimock health center in Roxbury tells the tale of using Narcan to deal with this:
It didn’t take long to recognize the source of that distress call: a mother who had just driven from south of the city with her son, who was now slumped over in the back of their gray, two-door convertible. He was in the throes of an overdose, barely breathing, his lips so blue they were almost black.
This video is from Learn to Cope, a support group for families of addicts. They all carry Narcan. Warning to parents of teens and young adults: Lots of photos of kids who didn’t make it.
This series of videos if from Opioid Overdose Education and Prevention Network, via the city of Cambridge on what do to prevent an overdose, and what do in case of an overdose: