Is this just “feeding the animal”

Georgia Governor Signs 911 Medical Amnesty/ Naloxone Law

From the article:

On Thursday April 24, 2014 Georgia became the 15th state in the union to enact a 911 Medical Amnesty law granting limited prosecution immunity to people who seek help during a drug or alcohol overdose. It is also the 19th state to extend legal protections to people who administer naloxone to someone experiencing a drug overdose.

This may sound “cruel”, but are these type of laws just going to increase the pool of people who abuse substances ? It is common knowledge that the per-cent of recidivism among criminals is high and the per-cent of relapse of drug abuser is similar.

Most people consider life as “precious”, but some in our society – substance abusers  in particular.. Do not seem to place that same concern on their own lives.

Since generally, there are not the resources committed to provide aggressive/extensive mental health therapy for these people and/or until  the laws are changed so that a addict can be supported as a “functioning addict”.. are we really providing a real benefit to anyone ?

Will this ready availability of Naloxone.. just let those who are in a “death spiral”.. to keep repeating that cycle with little to no consequences to themselves.. but.. how much added expense to our already overly stretched health care system will happen ?

5 Responses

  1. Pharmacist Steve,

    I think you answered your own question! You have said before that most people who suffer from addiction are those who already suffer from mental illness and are not getting the treatment they need in the first place. These are usually people who self medicate in order to drowned out a deeper psychological pain. Naloxone can effectively save their life and hopefully they can move on to get the treatment that they truly need.

    I agree that this is a bandaid on a hemorrhaging artery! At least we wouldn’t be consciously allowing people die because of their addiction. We definitely need better forms of treatment for both addiction and mental illness, just as we need better treatment for chronic pain. For now this is something.

    What many people don’t seem to realize is that chronic pain is so massively undertreated in much of the east coast that legitimate pain patients are being forced into the arms of drug dealers. That or they end up committing suicide. I have personally known two pain patients that became addicted to heroin, after years of suffering in severe pain. No physician was willing to treat them or they would start and then take it away, so they both ended up hitting the street and using and heroin doesn’t come with instructions.

    They had become friends. Before they started using, I had tried to help them find doctors but I couldn’t even find treatment for myself, for a while. Both of them have passed because of this ridiculous situation! It has become completely unavoidable because of our insane drug laws. Now, with the deplorable care of chronic pain patients, we are just adding millions more to the problem.

    There is so much that could be solved with creating a rational drug policy, ending the war on drugs and using the vast amount of money we spend on criminalizing “drugs” to put back into medical research and treatment.

    I feel as though depriving people of this resource would be cruel! We would effectively be punishing people, to death, for their disease of addiction, or their mental disease, or both. People make mistakes, even more so when they are suffering and I just don’t think its right to allow a person to die because of that mistake. It’s not a solution to the real problem but it is a means of saving lives. When someone willingly tries to kill themselves, paramedics and doctors fight to save them too, even if they are extremely likely to attempt suicide again. So, why treat an addict differently?

  2. Well, the 5th amendment does protect you from prosecution. I favor a just system that disallows gastriclavage , then using the purged contents of the Pt. TO BE USED AGAINST THEM. Even folks allergic or having a untoward action to have immunity. Imagine, a accidental OD becoming a felony. Reformulate the stuff that is Rx, not utilizing a narcotic antagonist will outlaw legal scripts. What, just let them croak or felony? Is this making the zero tolerance narcs unhappy? TOO BAD!!!

  3. I just hope people use it for all the right reasons and not an excuse to keep doing drugs. Its a situation or predicament from which it is impossible to extricate yourself because of built-in illogical set of circumstances people get themselves caught up in. I’ve seen it happen and its a sad state of affairs.
    Yet we cant deny it to people to save their life when needed. I hope that one scare keeps them from continuing being a slave to drugs.

  4. They can’t try and help themselves if they don’t wake up. I think the bill gives family members of this obviously ill and mentally incompetent individuals a way to feel like they are able to actively do something if they find their loved ones unresponsive. Its definitely not perfect nor a permanent solution, but I am not against it. Personally I think it should be mandated to be in every college freshman welcome kit with directions on how to use it and a copy of the law saying they wont be prosecuted if they use it to save a friends life. I haven’t known too many individuals personally who were addicts, but the few I do know chose drugs to try to escape a much deeper kind of pain that the majority of us have no understanding of. Some people try drugs out of curiosity but the majority of ongoing users are addicted and it is a medical disease. We wouldn’t deny a diabetic insulin and say you shouldn’t of had the second doughnut…

  5. No we are not providing a real benefit to anyone that abuses drugs. I hate to say it put people who inject drugs in to their arm for the buzz have no regards for life. So this Naloxone will be like a revolving chamber when or if needed, ops that’s too much heroin get the Naloxone ready. This just gives a addict comfort knowing they have a way out if they inject too much dope. Even a reason to see how far they can push it. Think about it ,Naloxone will just give a abuser reason to continue their habit. Its sure not going to help them stop. Only they, the abuser can help themselves stop the abuse.

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