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Home > Topics > Medical / Clinical

Program in Philadelphia helps save overdose victims' lives

Initiative supplies addicts, spouses, and other laypeople with naloxone, in advance, to prevent overdoses

By Don Sapatkin

The Philadelphia Inquirer

PHILADELPHIA — Richard Gessner saved a guy just last month. It was in an abandoned patch of Philadelphia woods, far from a phone. The man had overdosed, wasn't breathing, was already turning blue. Gessner jabbed him with a syringe containing naloxone, as he had been trained to do. The man survived.

Full story: Program in Philadelphia helps save overdose victims' lives

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William D Holwick William D Holwick Monday, April 09, 2012 9:45:27 AM Way to promote opiate abuse.
Aasia Franco Aasia Franco Monday, April 09, 2012 10:07:20 AM As a medic I perfer to give an addict a clean syringe than have then share a dirty one and giving them the traing to use narcan to save a life is wonderful. In a perfect world we wouldn't need the drug but we do, but giving them the option to save somones life. we wont get to them in time. what our taxes put them on a ventfor life be real. put some knowledge in there hands. Great idea. The user is going to use with or without the Narcan info lets give them the chance to be there own heros...
Jennifer Lowery Jennifer Lowery Monday, April 09, 2012 11:03:17 AM Kudos to you shannon! Boo to you william! What IF someone you know o.d'd, you would not feel the same, wife, child, parents, you get the point. No greater feeling than saving a life!
Aaron Michael White Aaron Michael White Monday, April 09, 2012 11:38:51 AM It promotes opiate treatment and overdose death prevention. There has been great results with programs for addicts and recovery.
Samuel Gates Samuel Gates Tuesday, April 10, 2012 5:52:10 AM This is the question for me. Do we attempt to address a problem or simply accept we can do no more than manage it? A number years ago there was a headline in a major city newspaper that read "Responsible Addicts Given Heroin Antidote". Responsible addicts? If they were, they wouldn't be addicts. They never would have started or they would get treatment. Our society now accepts self destructive behavior as a disease. Alcohol and drug abuse is a billion dollar business. There is another cost that most people don't see. Forget the addict, most choose the way they live. What about their families, their children, the cost to each and everyone that pays taxes. and the people they steal from to support their 12 bag a day habit? What about the cost of treating the diseases they contract from their life style? Until we as society say that either it is a "normal" lifestyle to be an addict and assume the cost of supporting them and the lives they destroy or say we declare war on drugs nothing will change. Yes, war, not a police action and there will be a body count. Eliminate the growers, the producers, and sellers and treat the buyers. Until then we need to give clean needles to prevent the spread of disease and unfortunately provide Narcan to the responsible drug users to prevent OD's and hopefully give those poor souls a chance to turn their life arround. Do I think they will? No, but I find it hard to give up on people. Be safe out there.
Aaron Michael White Aaron Michael White Tuesday, April 10, 2012 1:15:32 PM Well if you understood the science of addiction, you would release that there is a process to how and why addiction occurs. "accepts self destructive behavior as a disease" -- What are you trying to imply? I would suggest you study the physiology of addiction and the contributing factors associated with it, before assuming people simply choose to be an addict. That is just an astounding statement made without proper knowledge.
Billi Buker Billi Buker Wednesday, April 11, 2012 8:25:42 PM Is this the same as providing condoms to sexually active minors? We as a society need to continue preventive methods. Addicts are the same, they are going to get high with or without the narcan, same as that teenager that is going to have sex with or without the condom. I say kudos to the program! Especially for those family members that walk in on an overdose & feel helpless with the only thing to do is call 911. This way they administer the drug AND call 911! Again Kudos!

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